Durham Bridge residents tired of illegal dumping problem

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Residents in Durham Bridge are fed up with their roadways being used as illegal dumping sites.

Many of the roadways in Durham Bridge are littered with garbage that has been illegally discarded and some people in the area have had enough.

“They think they can get away with it and put it in someone else’s backyard so to speak,” said Donna Bliss who walks several kilometres with her neighbour each morning, noting various types of trash along the way.

“I’ve seen automobile gas tanks, I’ve seen bicycles…the type of plastic that can be recycled, wood construction pieces that could go to be reused.”

Although she says she’s not surprised by the items she comes across, she admits some have made her scratch her head.

“I’ve seen dryers,” she said. “You can take metal to the land fill and they’ll pay you for it. You don’t have to dump it out here.”

“People feel they have a right to bring their garbage and dump it wherever they feel,” Bliss said.

Conservation officers say they’re as puzzled by the practice as residents are.

“The tipping fees aren’t expensive at the landfill,” says Conservation Enforcement Superintendent, Rick Nash.

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“A lot of the time they’ll drive a long ways into the woods to find a spot to dump it and I would think that it would be cheaper to pay the tipping fees than some of the gas to go there.”

Nash says each year another 50 or so new illegal dumping sites are found.

He says it can be a difficult crime to catch someone committing, but still the risk isn’t worth the reward.

“Anybody caught dumping, it’s a $604.50 ticket,” he explained.

“The second thing we’ll normally do is issue an order for them to pick it up. Failure to comply with the order can result in a daily penalty of up to $500 a day.”

With the snow melting and many looking to get rid of unwanted items during the spring season, Bliss fears her morning walks will only uncover even more discarded trash in her area, but she hopes those thinking about dumping their garbage will reconsider.

“You have choices this should be a no-brainer that its not a choice,” she said.

“We are fortunate that we have garbage pick up, we have landfills, we have places where you can recycle. There’s no excuse for bringing it out and just dumping it.”

Anyone who witnesses illegal dumping is asked to call the Conservation office or Crime Stoppers.