Recently, members of the Tusket River Environmental Protection Association discovered a dumpsite at the end of the Coldstream Road in Quinan.
Waste Check enforcement officer Ritchie Nickerson and waste compliance inspector Lyndsay Price visited the dumpsite.
Nickerson examined the dumped bags, searching for names or identification. With no success there, he contacted the landowners – the Nature Conservancy of Canada -to let them know about the situation.
The conservancy is sending representatives to help with the July 30 cleanup and TREPA and Waste Check are assisting, given the size and nature of the site and because the owner of the land is a non-profit, environmentally oriented organization.
During the cleanup, Nickerson will investigate further in an effort to identify the person(s) responsible for dumping the waste. He will also suggest gating off the area to prevent further dumping and will provide “No Dumping” signs to be posted.
Price says illegal dumping of this size is very harmful to the environment and is a hazard to wildlife and surrounding habitats.
“Illegal dumpsites this large are not as common as some of the other illegal dumping complaints we receive, such as dumping in someone else’s dumpster or at their curbside, or throwing bags of garbage or bulky items (mattresses, furniture) into a ditch or a gravel lot, etc.,” she said.
Waste Check receives over 100 illegal dumping complaints per year of varying sizes and locations. Illegal dumping is, and will be, a consistent issue, but due to the presence of the enforcement officer, illegal dumping has not grown to be a completely overwhelming problem, she added.
The officer follows up on every complaint and resolves many of the issues.
Price says many rural areas are subject to illegal dumping activities. The number of complaints reported in southwestern Nova Scotia is comparable to nearby regions.
“Areas that have compliance and enforcement staff to follow up the complaints will see fewer large dumpsites or will have more resolved cases and cleanups as a result,” she said.
Illegal dumpsites can be reported to Waste Check at 1-800-569-0039. Those who know of others who are illegally disposing their waste can call the same number to report the violation.
Users can upload a picture, description, and GPS coordinates of the illegal dumpsite right from their mobile device. It can be reported anonymously if need be, and Waste Check will promptly follow up.