Nfld. & Labrador

Despite best efforts to curb it, illegal dumping continues in C.B.S.

"It's absolutely disgusting," says Conception Bay South Mayor Steve Tessier.

Town says an uptick in illegal dumping normally occurs this time of year

A clearing on Easons Road in Conception Bay South is a popular spot for littered household garbage and bulk garbage. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

There's frustration in Conception Bay South over the illegal dumping of garbage, especially when so many supports are in place to curb the activity, town leaders say.

There's certainly no excuse for it.- Ron Penney

Mayor Steve Tessier showed CBC News a "problem area" on Easons Road which has a vista that overlooks Conception Bay and Bell Island.

In that area you'll find household garbage, a couch, a golf bag, a hypodermic needle, broken beer bottles, undergarments, cigarette packs and a pile of fast food trash — trays, containers, napkins, cups and straws.

C.B.S. mayor Steve Tessier says not only is dumping garbage disgusting and disappointing, it's also unnecessary given the options residents have. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

"This stuff didn't make it up this far on its own," said Tessier.

"It's an absolutely beautiful view. You come up here, look at that and then come around and look at this. It's absolutely disgusting."

Tessier said the town tries to make it easy for people to get rid of the garbage that doesn't end up in bags on the curb.

"We have a bulk garbage pick up. We pick a bunch of days during the summer, it's on the town's web site, where you can drive up and drop it off in a bin — no charge," he said.

"We also have a bulk pick up, $25. Put it to your curb and our crews will come and take it away. If you're over the age of 60, it's free."

Contractors a problem

Despite best efforts, Tessier said, there are still many spots in the town that are problem areas.

"Most of the bigger stuff comes from the contracting industry," he said.

C.B.S. implemented video surveillance cameras about six years ago and investigations are ongoing at several known illegal dumping areas in the town. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

"I assume that they're doing a renovation and I assume they're charging the homeowner for the disposal and then they take it and throw it up in a dead end road somewhere. We see a lot of asphalt shingles, some building supplies and old sinks, and toilets. That kind of stuff."

My theory is if areas of the trail are kept clean, then people will be less likely to litter.- Ron Penney

In 2011, C.B.S. implemented video surveillance to crack down on illegal dumping, using hidden cameras in popular dumping areas.

Tessier said it's been successful, but they've not caught everyone.

"We're still chasing down some of the bad guys who continue to do so," said Tessier.

"We have multiple cameras in multiple locations. I won't get into where they are, but usually there's a few culprit sites that continually cause us some trouble."

No respect for nature

There's no limits to where the garbage ends up, said Ron Penney, board chairman of the Grand Concourse Authority.

Not even the walking trail through the town is safe.

The town of Conception Bay South will let residents drop off mattresses, and other bulk garbage, for free. (Submitted photo/ town of CBS)

"Things like appliances and furniture and so on. And under our contract with C.B.S., [it] means we pick it up," said Penney.

"It is a real shame. People have so many options for discarding these kinds of items. There's certainly no excuse for it."

Penney said not only is it disturbing to see unsightly garbage on a beautiful area, but it's costly, too.

"It takes additional staff time so there's more cost to us," Penney added.

The Grand Concourse is about to launch an anti-litter campaign on its 175 kilometres of walking trail on the northeast Avalon — through St. John's, Mount Pearl, C.B.S., Paradise, Portugal Cove-St. Philip's and Torbay.

In a few weeks, Penney said the authority will announce a trail custodian program where people who regularly use the trail will be asked to bring garbage bags for litter.

Penney said it's about asking people to take ownership.

"My theory is if areas of the trail are kept clean, then people will be less likely to litter."