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Township goes through garbage to identify illegal dumpers

With cameras and some good ol' detective work. Township is cracking down on the amount of illegal dumping
Notice the 'No Dumping' sign in the background of this turn off along Robertson Crescent in Langley where garbage was dumped. The illegal dumper has been fined.

A business recently found out the hard way that it won't get away with illegal dumping. It was issued a $500 ticket through the Township of Langley's #idiot anti-dumping campaign.

After a complaint was received about garbage spotted near 208 Street and 83 Avenue, black garbage bags full of trash were found in the area.

Township crews discovered paperwork inside, which was reviewed by bylaw officers who found a business name and address, and went and spoke to the owners.

The owners were not able to explain how garbage from their business — which is not located in the Township — ended up on the side of the road. They were promptly issued, and paid, a $500 bylaw ticket for illegal dumping.

"This is one of many big breaks we have had in the enforcement approach to the #idiot campaign, which is out in full force and using new investigation and enforcement tactics to catch illegal dumpers," said Langley Township Sustainability Programs Specialist Tess Rouse.

"If people don't follow the rules, holding them accountable financially may get their attention and make them think twice before simply dumping their trash."

The Township launched the #idiot campaign last June after realizing the expense of cleaning up illegal dumping was costing taxpayers more than $400,000 each year. The letters in the word "idiot" stand for "Illegal Dumper In Our Township".

#IDIOT Campaign In Full Force

Since the campaign started, the Township has seen an 11 per cent decrease in dumping but they have "a long way to go," said Rouse.

Another ticket was just issued for dumping garbage at the Robertson Crescent pullout, just west of 264 St. (see photo). There is a no dumping sign at the pullout. The Township has issued quite a few tickets, one is with collections, said Rouse.

The Township has also installed cameras in hot spots but a few of those have been stolen. Staff are in the process of installing more cameras in several hot spots.

The Township also posts illegal dumpsites on the TOL Facebook page to see if the public can help identify the culprits or has information that can be used as evidence in court.

Staff have also hosted drywall bag giveaways at Home Depot and Rona to show residents how to properly dispose of drywall.

A lot of the dumping in rural areas is comprised of construction debris and furniture.

Anyone caught illegally dumping should not be surprised to find their case in front of Provincial Court, where fines are higher and penalties are more significant, warns Rouse.

The Township also appreciates the tips, input, and ideas being offered through social media, online at, and through the reporting hotline at 1.844.SEE.DUMP (733-3867).

"People who actually witness infractions are still the best evidence in court, so please continue to report when you see illegal dumping," Rouse said.


Reports have recently surfaced that residents in rural areas that do not receive municipal garbage collection may have fallen prey to a fraudster who offered to properly dispose of garbage for a fee, but instead illegally dumped it on someone else's property and pocketed the extra cash, she said.

Residents and businesses are ultimately responsible for where their trash ends up, and should check to ensure any person or business they hire is properly licensed. A list of legitimate private collection services can be found on If you suspect an unlicensed hauler is operating in your area, record their licence plate and contact information and report it. Your tips may help stop dozens of dump sites each year and save taxpayer dollars.

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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