Illegal dumping an ongoing issue

Dave Bartlett
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St. John’s public works committee discusses how to curb problem

Many municipalities throughout the province have areas prone to illegal dumping. The city of St. John’s is trying to figure out what to do with theirs. — Telegram file photo

The city’s public works committee held a discussion on illegal dumping at its meeting last week.

Committee chairman Wally Collins said a private citizen plans to continue removing old car wrecks from a wooded area off Blackhead Road in the spring.

Collins said the man has already removed 65 abandoned vehicles from the area and sells the wrecks for scrap. He suggested some of the cars left in the area may have been stolen.

“There’s a big slew of them (still) down there,” said Collins of the area.


Coun. Sheilagh O’Leary also asked where the city was with purchasing video cameras which could be moved around to problem areas in the hope of catching people who are dumping in wooded areas around the city.

Coun. Tom Hann made that suggestion at a council meeting in January and it was referred to the committee for discussion.

Public works director Paul Mackey said his department is looking into purchasing some cameras. But he said at this time of year, many of the ares are hard to get to which makes the dumping problem less severe in winter.

The city’s manager of streets and parks Kevin Breen also noted video cameras are not the panacea for ending illegal dumping.

Breen said the cameras have to be able to capture faces or licence plate numbers to “tell the narrative” of what is happening so potential charges can stand up in court.

However, Collins noted the Town of Conception Bay South is using cameras and have been able to lay charges in at least one case.

O’Leary also asked the city encourage people who live in problem areas to call the city’s 311 number to report illegal dumping.

“A lot of people see it and don’t report it,” she said.

O’Leary also said in some areas people are finding things that could be dangerous to the public such as hypodermic needles.

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Recent comments

  • sc
    February 20, 2012 - 09:52

    This sort of behaviour says so much about many of the people living around here. Rather than abiding by the law, they break it. Instead of cleaning up their mess, they simply dump it and leave it for someone else to clean up. I suspect these people take great joy in knowing they have 'beaten the system' - even it means destroying the environment and scenery (perhaps the greatest attraction NL has to offer). These people have no sense of pride (perhaps for good reason) in NL and yet will be the first to condemn anyone who says anything negative about the province. It's not just these illegal dumps, one can see numerous places where people have tossed garbage , around Stavanger Dr , the Village, downtown etc. etc. This is surely the sort of 'scenery' that makes St. John's and NL such a desirable tourist attraction.

  • jack
    February 20, 2012 - 09:39

    theres a old saying if you cant beat them join them ,, how bout instead of pressing charges , why dont the city put a temparey dumping station where everyone is dumping stuff at and bring it to the dump . Put up a toll gate and dump , that way the city makes money , and if it only occurs in the summer months it only needs to run seasonal .

  • Home for good
    February 20, 2012 - 08:55

    CBS might have cameras, they do not have them near the ocean in and around Foxtrap area. I have reported dumping and big big big fires(very black smoke) no one did anything about it. No one seems to care. a concerned tax payer who stopped reporting because of the attitude received.