Published on August 11, 2013
One of the illegal dumpsites found by the Green Team working in the Upper Lake Melville Area of Labrador. — Photo by The Labradorian
Published on August 11, 2013
Justin Hodder (left) Kyla Penney and Carly Thomson of this summer’s Green Team for the Upper Lake Melville area.— Photo by The Labradorian
Members of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Green Team say they are shocked and disappointed with the immense amount of illegal dumping that goes on in the Upper Lake Melville area.
Green Teams are sponsored by the Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador and are made up of students. According to its website, the corps helps fund projects to “improve the natural and cultural environment of our province.”
For the first few weeks of their employment, team leader Carly Thomson and co-workers Kyla Penney and Justin Hodder worked with Healthy Waters Labrador to document illegal dumpsites in the area.
Thomson said she certainly didn’t expect what they found.
“We found over 60 sites in the Upper Lake Melville area,” said Thomson.
“They were everywhere — Transmitter (Corte Real) Road, Wilburn Bay Road, the North West River Highway and many other locations.”
Thomson said the most sites they found were located on the dump road, leading into the region’s landfill site.
“People dumping their truckloads of trash along that road is nothing but laziness,” she said. “They’re already on their way to the dump.”
Thompson added she didn’t realize the extent of the problem until she started this job.
“I knew it was always going on, but I just didn’t realize how bad it actually was,” she said.
“I guess it’s a case of people get away with it, so it continues to happen.”
However, she noted a new Facebook group might curtail some of the illegal dumping activity.
“We started a site called ‘Illegal Dumping in the Upper Lake Melville Area,’ where you can view a map and pictures of the 60 sites we found,” said Thomson.
“Every site we found, we mapped and entered into a GPS for future reference.”
Thomson said she encourages the public to post pictures of sites they may come across and make comments on the issue.
“Maybe someone might see a picture of something they had dumped and think twice about doing it again,” she said.
The Green Team’s work with Healthy Waters Labrador has not gone unnoticed either. Marina Biasutti-Brown works with Healthy Waters Labrador and she thinks the team has done important work.
“The Green Team has been central to helping Healthy Waters Labrador establish a database of dumpsites around the Upper Lake Melville communities,” stated Biasutti-Brown in a news release.
“They are assisting us in our work to bring light to this serious issue and put a stop to the bad habit of illegal dumping.”
Another project the team is working on this summer is improvements to the Mud Lake Road walking trail system.
The team has been spreading gravel on the trail for the last few weeks to make a nicer walking surface.
“We are hoping to have surfaced two to three kilometres of trail before we finish for the summer,” said Thomson.
The team will end its work as of Aug. 16.