To provide information on the Regional Illegal Dumping Service.
In 2002, the Regional District created the Illegal Dumping Education and Control Program Establishment Bylaw No. 2184. The Bylaw created a full Regional service with all rural areas and municipalities paying for the service. The bylaw is presently set up to create a public education program to combat illegal dumping and provide assistance to community efforts to clean up illegal dumpsites.
The bylaw allows a maximum of $25,000 to be recovered each year by taxation. The service has been used to fund the following activities:
· Providing gloves, bags, transportation and free disposal of waste for community groups or volunteers;
· Production and placement of No Illegal Dumping signage;
· Staff time to record or visit sites;
· Sending letters to people identified from illegal dumpsites that their garbage has been found;
· As available, contractors or Staff to assist in cleaning up sites.
RDOS Staff have consistently only provided assistance for illegal dumping clean ups of Crown Land, lands held by a conservation group or materials dumped from roads. RDOS Staff have no enforcement tools to fine residents found illegally dumping. When materials identify a person, theletter sent does not accuse them of illegally dumping. Mail and property theft are common.
Education is not presently a major focus of the program. People that illegally dump, unless suffering mental issues, are fully aware of what they are doing and that the activity is wrong. Cleaning up sites and placing appropriate signage stating that the site is under surveillance has been shown tobe more effective in reducing illegal dumping.
The Province of BC Conservation Officer Service is mandated to deal with illegal dumping on Crown Land. Residents are encouraged to contact the BC Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) Line to report illegal dumpsites. The BCWILDLIFE FEDERATION has created a Conservation App to allow anyone to report illegal dump sites by Apple iPhone or by registered users through their webpage.
Argo Road Maintenance has been responsible for cleaning up dump sites along maintained road right of ways and rest areas. The RDOS waives fees for Argo road clean ups.
An ongoing issue is cleaning up sites on Band Lands which do not contribute to the Illegal Dumping service but are dealing with waste from RDOS and municipal residents. The speed of cleaning illegal dumpsites is another concern raised by residents. Lack of enforcement, to punish illegal dumpers, isalso raised as an issue. Illegal dumping is of importance for local governments across BC. A recent Recycling Council of BC conference featured a session on what local governments are doing across Canada and internationally and the role of the Ministry of Environment. Price of tipping fees is not considered the major driver in illegal dumping. Many of the items found at illegal dumpsites are free of charge or subsidized at landfills. As shown in the presentations linked above, timing and access to waste disposal services and personal factors are larger drivers for illegal dumping than cost.
The current illegal dumping function does not have sufficient resources to have Staff or contractors clean up all illegal dump sites. RDOS Staff do catalogue sites and attempt to do clean ups in quieter times in the spring and fall when RDOS seasonal employees can assist in the cleanup. The current intent of the function is to assist local groups in their clean-up efforts. A Landfill Tipping Fee Waiver form is provided to those conducting the clean-up. Landfills currently waive fees rather than have the fees paid by the Illegal Dumping program.
Directors will continue a discussion on this subject next month.