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.