Sudbury

Sudbury residents frustrated over illegal dumping

Spring cleaning usually means a trip or two to the dump, but it seems in the Greater Sudbury area, the garbage doesn't always make it that far. People have finding all sorts of garbage, from paint cans to fridges to tires, either on the sides of the roads or hidden in the bush.

People can be fined about $200 if caught illegally dumping

Residents are starting to get frustrated with the amount of illegal dumping that's happening in Greater Sudbury. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)

Spring cleaning usually means a trip or two to the dump, but it seems in the Greater Sudbury area, the garbage doesn't always make it that far.

People have been finding all sorts of garbage, from paint cans to fridges to tires, either on the sides of the roads or hidden in the bush.

"Someone had brought up the entire trailer and just dumped the entire trailer up there, it was half collapsed," said Sudbury resident Seth Patterson, about an old, falling apart tent trailer that was found at the end of Cote Blvd. 

"You can see that there's actually a lot of problems consistently with illegal dumping, it's just all along the side of the roads. Tires, paint cans, which is one thing but there's a lot of household garbage too," Patterson said.

Illegal dumping is also causing issues for some property owners.

Recently Daniel Bouchard, who lives in Hanmer and owns about 80 acres of land, says he found more than 30 tires that had been dumped on his property.

Sudburians are finding all sorts of garbage that's been illegally dumped in Greater Sudbury. (Submitted by Jayson Swain)

"Every year I look around for tires and especially when there's no tipping fees, I can bring those tires [to the dump], at least I'm saving a few bucks... but the rest of the year it's my own money that I have to pay get rid of those tires," he said.

He says it happens every year, he finds all sorts of garbage on his property, garbage that he has to get rid of himself that usually costs him a few hundred dollars a year in tipping fees.

"A motor or a fridge, an old toilet, tires... cans of oil, anything can be ending up on the property," said Bouchard.

The trails on Bouchard's property connect to the trails at Theresa Park, but he says he didn't care too much when people used them as long as they were being respectful. Over the years with more and more garbage being left on his property and more damage being done to his property, he says he's been trying to stop people from using the trails.

"It's a concern because I live here, I drink the water from the water table, I take my walks everyday, I have grandchildren that come here, I don't want anything to happen to them," Bouchard said.

There is a municipal by-law that covers illegal dumping and it is enforced when the city gets complaints or calls about illegal dumping, says Melissa Laalo, the acting manager of by-law enforcement.

She says if caught, people will be fined, it's about $200 per offence.

"Our main objective is to provide education, as well, to the person that's deciding to illegally throw out their waste," Laalo said. "What we'd be hoping for is either they would clean up the area, or we can direct them to do so and pay any subsequent costs for that removal."

And for people like Bouchard, Laalo says unfortunately if there is no evidence or a witness to who dumped the garbage, it's up to the property owner to take care of it.

Bouchard says he has multiple "no trespassing" signs around his property and it hasn't helped.

"Even this spring, people have been cleaning their yards, it all ended up or a lot has ended up on my property again, so they bring a four wheeler with a trailer and they just dump it wherever, some try to hide it some just dump it right in the middle of the trail," he said.

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