'It's a disaster here': Windsor business owner calls for more action against illegal garbage dumping
City has cameras to monitor dumping spots, has caught about a dozen illegal dumpers over past two years
A Windsor business owner is calling on the city to take more action against people who dump garbage illegally.
Ayman Botros, owns a business on South Cameron Boulevard, and is sick of seeing people dump garbage in the area, which he said has been happening for years.
"It's a disaster here," he said, adding that he offered to let the city use his wifi to set up a wireless camera.
"They said they are not allowed," Botros said.
Botros said he believes fines for illegal dumping should be increased.
Anne Marie Albidone, Windsor's Manager of Environment Services, said the city does have four cameras that are moved around the city in an effort to catch illegal dumpers.
About a dozen dumpers have been caught through licence plate identification, Albidone said, and all complied with orders to clean up the garbage they dumped. If the order is not followed, a fine can be issued.
"Illegal dumping is something we deal with every year, all year round," she said. "It tends to be more noticeable at this time of year, because people are out and about and they might see it more easily."
Albidone said there are likely areas of the city that aren't being monitored for illegal dumping.
"We encourage people to let us know if they see some illegal dumping so that we can be aware of those situations," she said. "It's as simple as calling 311 so that we can put that on our list of areas to monitor."
The city also supports community volunteers who hold clean-ups in certain areas of the city, providing garbage and recycling bags, and gloves, and then picking up the bags after the clean-up is done.
That program, Albidone said, was put on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now that restrictions are being lifted, she's hoping more volunteer clean-ups will take place.
Fred Robertson, a resident of McGregor who was disposing of garbage at a public drop-off site, said he sees people occasionally dumping items like mattresses and tires illegally in Essex County.
"I hate it," he said. "I don't know what you can do about it."
"You can't stand out there and watch what everybody's doing on the streets," Robertson said. "I think they're just being cheap, trying to save a buck."
Another concern with illegal dumping, Albidone said, is rats, but the city hasn't detected an increase in the rat population this year.
The city places rat bait at properties where rats have been seen, and uses that data to track the size of the rat population.
"That's the only way for us to actually track it," she said. "There was a slight dip last year."
"I'm cautious to say the numbers are going down, so I would say more that they're remaining steady," Albidone said. "This the time of year is when people should be looking in their yard to see if there's any burrows, and those are basically just holes in the ground they didn't put there."
She said people who find burrows can call 311 for more information about the city's rodent program.