Litter in a ditch along the side of Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge. Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS

Metro Vancouver tackles illegal dumping

New initiative informs residents on how to dispose of or recycle bulky items.

A couch, mattress or appliance sitting at the side of the road to most people is an eyesore.

Yet, a majority of residents in Metro Vancouver consider illegal dumping a valid form of recycling and continue to do so.

This month, Metro Vancouver has launched an initiative to educate people on the proper way to dispose of or recycle bulky unwanted items.

The goal is to reduce litter along the sides of roads in addition to the costs to the community for clean up.

Every year local municipalities pay up to $5 million to pick up bulky litter.

In January, Richard Purdy, with hazardous waste handler Phoenix Enterprises, was in Pitt Meadows cleaning up drywall containing asbestos that was dumped along Rannie Road by the gravel quarry.

At the time, he explained that contractors who do not want to pay for testing and disposal of the carcinogenic substance and find dark rural roads at night to dump their loads.

He said that his company is called to illegal dump sites in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows twice a week, costing taxpayers between $150 to $3,000.

However, local residents, rather than businesses, are responsible for a majority of abandoned household items found on the sides of roads.

In 2016, municipalities reported 37,257 incidents of abandoned waste, with most frequently dumped items being mattresses, furniture, appliances, carpeting, tires, green waste and larger amounts of household garbage.

Metro Vancouver chair and Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore said that 60 per cent of residents have in the past and will likely in the future illegally dump items because of convenience; and that 40 per cent of residents thought it was okay to dump in public spaces because it was just another form of recycling.

Canadians generate around 31 million tonnes of garbage a year and recycle about 30 per cent of that material.

To dispose of excess waste in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, the regional transfer station is located at 10092 – 236 St., also home of the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society.

• For more information, go to wasteinitsplace.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Insurance shock for Langley condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

VIDEO: Langley cheer club holds virtual workouts

Video apps allow practice sessions that respect social distancing

Langley community gardens reopen

They were closed due to virus concerns, but they have been declared an essential service

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Township firefighters donate blood and deliver meals during COVID-19 crisis

Safe to donate blood during pandemic, says Canadian Blood Services

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read