You can now get a $300 ticket for illegal dumping in Region of Waterloo

The Region of Waterloo has changed the minimum fine for illegal dumping, allowing bylaw officers to issue $300 tickets on the spot, instead of having to go through the court system.
'The community has spoken and would like us to be tougher on dumping,' said Cari Rastas Howard, the project manager for the Region of Waterloo's waste management program. (Maryse Zeidler/CBC)

Out of public concern about illegal dumping, the Region of Waterloo has changed the way it handles those offences, adding a new $300 ticket to its regional bylaw. 

"People are worried," said Cari Rastas Howard, project manager for the region's waste management programs. 

"People are very concerned now with garbage limits, 'What if I wake up one morning and someone's dumped garbage on my lawn, they've dumped their extra bags at my house, and now it's my problem?' "

With the previous 10-bag limit, that was pretty rare, said Rastas Howard, but with the new two-bag limit coming March 7, residents have been worried about the worst-case scenario. 

So when the region was rewriting the bylaw to reflect the new bag limits and biweekly pickup, council decided to adjust the penalties as well, said Rastas Howard. 

"Council had made it very clear that the community has spoken and would like to see us be tougher on dumping."

$5000 fine still possible

Before the change, if bylaw officers were told of, or witnessed, illegal dumping, they would investigate then issue a court summons. 

Now, those bylaw officers will be able to issue a ticket on the spot, for $300.

"Then it's like a parking ticket or a speeding ticket, you can plead guilty just by paying it, or you can go to court to have your trial," said Rastas Howard.

The judge will then decide to issue the new minimum $300 fine, or a larger fine up to $5,000.

The new $300 set fine still needs to be approved by the province before bylaw officers can issue tickets. 


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