Moving day sucks, but that's no excuse for illegal dumping

Local municipalities spend more than $5 million annually to clean up illegal dumping

A Burnaby city councillor just put a smile on my face today when he spoke out about illegal dumping – calling out people who are moving in the process.

I actually teared up it was so beautiful.

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I just wrote a blog that included a year’s worth of illegal dumping photos in Burnaby (you can read it here).

Today (Monday) Metro Vancouver said that its Put Waste in Its Place campaign is back for a third year, “reminding residents to do the right thing by disposing of their unwanted items responsibly instead of illegally dumping them in alleys, parks and on the curbside.”

Amen to that.

“Residents are more likely to improperly dispose of items at the end of the month or on moving days,” said Burnaby Coun. Sav Dhaliwal, who is also the chair of Metro Vancouver. “With a little foresight, residents can easily rid themselves of unwanted items, without degrading someone’s neighbourhood and breaking the law.”

That is true. I see a lot of dumped items at the end of the month as lazy people get ready to move out. Yes, I know moving is tough and a pain to even get people to help out, but that’s no excuse for illegal dumping.

Local municipalities spend more than $5 million annually to clean up illegal dumping and are taking tougher measures against those caught in the act.

“We are all taught from a young age not to litter,” said Jack Froese, chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. “We know it’s wrong, and with so many cost-effective – even free – ways to properly dispose of waste, it’s perplexing that some people still choose to dump their unwanted items on the side of the road, in our parks, and alleyways.”

In 2018, Metro Vancouver municipalities recorded over 40,000 incidents of abandoned waste – 40,000!

According to Metro Vancouver, mattresses, furniture, appliances, electronics and green waste continue to be the most commonly dumped items, and the majority of incidents were attributed to home renovations, students and move-outs. 

The sad sadness of Burnaby dumping photos_4

“There is simply no need to abandon waste,” Froese said. “In addition to free municipal collection services, many delivery companies will take away old mattresses or appliances for a small fee, which is much cheaper than receiving a fine for illegally dumping. Disposing of unwanted items correctly is cheaper in the long run and prevents waste from becoming eyesores in our neighbourhoods.”

A number of local municipalities offer spring clean-ups or annual garage sales, while others will collect up to six large items per household annually, free of charge. Many municipalities will also allow residents to schedule a pick up that coincides with regularly scheduled garbage or on a specified date chosen with as little as a week’s notice.

Residents are encouraged to visit wasteinitsplace.ca for disposal options, pop-up junk days and spring cleaning events, as well as information on what services Metro Vancouver municipalities offer for large item disposal.

Check out this handy Metro Vancouver video on illegal dumping:

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