Local residents are taking notice of illegal garbage dumping on their streets.
And the dumping is no longer just done in rural and industrial areas, according to Gabor Fazekas, supervisor for Municipal Licensing and Standards Waste Enforcement.
Fazekas says there has recently been a rise in residential dumping and this may have something to do with the new garbage bin program implemented at the beginning of November.
“We’re getting a lot of [complaint] calls about where one person probably had too many bags, and they leave them with their next-door neighbours.”
Even though people usually try to remain discreet when dumping, it has become less so, Fazekas says, adding his division recently found an abandoned trailer full of garbage left on a residential street.
This comes as no surprise to at least one resident.
“Our family has the medium-sized bin and it never seems to be enough, so I can understand how people are choosing to get rid of their garbage in other ways,” says George Rauthmell, of Highland Creek.
Rural and industrial roads such as Passmore Avenue and Sewells Road in Scarborough have also been identified as frequent illegal dumping spots.
At the monthly Scarborough Community Council meeting in October, recommendations were made to get new “No Dumping” signs, and to create better barriers to remove lay-bys — places where people can stop and park.
“People tend to dump where there isn’t much traffic and there’s the least chance of getting caught _ industrial strips, places where there aren’t many residential houses,” Fazekas says.
Fines for getting caught dumping garbage illegally currently stand at a maximum of $10,000. In these areas, there is usually a mixture of residential and commercial waste including building supplies, according to Fazekas.
“I have driven down Sewells [Road] before, and it’s bad sometimes. There are just car tires and bags of garbage on the side of the road,” Rauthmell says.
According to a statement on the City of Toronto website, “other municipalities that have implemented similar systems [garbage bin program] have found there was an initial blip in illegal dumping, but no sustained increase.”
For now, Fazekas says the Municipal Licensing and Standards Waste Enforcement plans to continue educating the public on immediately reporting any illegal dumping noticed.