New Brunswick

Melting snow dump in Saint John reveals winter's grime

A massive snow pile that was created during Saint John's record-setting winter is slowly melting and leaving a bit of an eyesore on Long Wharf.

Garbage bags, other refuse become visible as giant snow pile on Long Wharf fades away

The snow dump on Saint John's Long Wharf grows grimier by the day. (Matthew Bingley)

A massive snow pile that was created during Saint John's record-setting winter is slowly melting and leaving a bit of an eyesore on Long Wharf.

The Harbour Passage walking trail runs parallel with the snow dump, blocking the view of the port with dirty snow.

People like Matt Murr who walk the path aren't terribly optimistic the city's snow dump will melt nearly fast enough.

"Jeez, I'll be glad when that's gone" said Murr, who doubts it will actually melt before the first of June.

Common council approved an additional snow dump on Long Wharf in the city port after the city was hit by three large snow storms in a seven-day period.

Stephanie Adams said she can endure the dirty pile, in favour of the alternative.

The city snow dump on Saint John is slowly melting. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)
"You don't want that going into our waters. Do you know how many fish that would kill? That's just ridiculous" laughed Adams.

But not everyone agrees.

Coun. Gerry Lowe was in favour of dumping the snow directly in the harbour during the winter. He still thinks the city should have taken that approach.

"I mean it's all going into the harbour anyways, one way or another" says Lowe, pointing to the enormous cost the city had to endure while dealing with record snowfalls.

"If it had gone in directly it would have saved tens of thousands of dollars, probably hundreds of thousands of dollars because it wasn't city equipment doing all this work down here."

Some Saint Johners like Nancy Riven agree. While watching her dogs play at Fort Latour in the shadow of the snow pile, she thinks whatever pollution in the snow will inevitably end up in the water.

"It still going to go into the harbour, one way or another. Whether it's a rain storm or or not" said Riven.

But take a close look at the snow and you can see why the city opted to keep the snow on land. As it continues to melt, garbage bags and other refuse is becoming more visible at Long Wharf and another of the city's snow dumps at Tin Can Beach.

There is a minor silver lining to the grime-heap, though. The Port of Saint John is currently taking wagers for when the snow will finally disappear. The proceeds of which are being donated to Saint John charity Partners Assisting Local Schools.

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