Saskatoon

From $200 to $1,000: Saskatoon wants to hike fines for repeat illegal dumpers

First-time dumpers currently face a fine of $100, while second-time offenders could be charged $200. Those fines would be raised to $500 and $1,000, if some city councillors have their way.

Mailing tickets to vehicle owners, as with speeding tickets, also under consideration

The City of Saskatoon wants to hike fines for illegal dumping and increase penalization for repeat offenders. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

The City of Saskatoon wants to crack down on illegal dumpers by raising fines for repeat offenders.

First-time dumpers who leave waste in alleyways, on the roadside and in other inappropriate places currently face a fine of $100, while second-time offenders could be charged $200.

Those fines would be raised to $500 and $1,000, respectively, if city councillors ultimately approve a set of bylaw changes that will be first presented on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately from a prosecution perspective, some of those repeat offenders have made it clear to us that $100 is not a deterrent," said Russ Munro, the city's director of water and waste stream.

Not many people charged

The number of tickets issued for illegal dumping by the city's two environmental protection officers (EPOs) is small — between 10 and 12 a year. But the city has seen a rise in repeat offenders — one in particular has racked up about five tickets in recent years.

Another bylaw change could lead to more people being charged, however.

The city would like to issue illegal dumping tickets to the owners of the cars spotted during an offence. Tickets would arrive in the mail, much like speeding tickets.

"We often see illegal dumping [at recycling depots]," said Munro.

"We'll get a licence plate, but we won't necessarily witness the individual committing the offence, so this would allow then that the vehicle owner would be responsible for the activities of their vehicle."

EPOs first educate, then warn a dumper, before charging them on the third occasion.

In the case of borrowed vehicles, "The approach the city takes would provide the opportunity for the vehicle owner to discuss the situation with the person they lent the vehicle to before getting a fine," said Munro.

He added, "Simply because the city can issue a ticket based on a licence plate does not mean that they would. If the lender of the vehicle can identify the person committing the illegal dumping, the EPO could issue the ticket to that person."

Not about money

It costs the city $300,000 a year to clean up illegally dumped materials.

But Munro says the new ideas are not about drumming up extra money.

"[It's] certainly not a revenue generating idea here. The whole focus here is to have deterrence."

Yet another change would expand the city's definition of unacceptable waste for waste and recycling carts to also include asbestos, needles, hot ashes, propane cylinders and used oil.

The definition is currently limited to hazardous waste, liquids and tires.

A committee of city councillors is expected to discuss the ideas Tuesday after 9 a.m. CST.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Guy Quenneville

Reporter at CBC Ottawa, originally from Cornwall, Ont.

Story tips? Email me at guy.quenneville@cbc.ca or DM me @gqinott on Twitter.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now