Barry Sweetland says the evidence is there to find out who dumped a load of garbage along Lady Slipper Road this past weekend.
The avid outdoorsman from Corner Brook went into the woods road just west of the city Friday and noticed a little bit of trash had been unceremoniously dumped.
When he went back to the same area Saturday, it was obvious even more trash had been deposited there since the day before.
There was furniture, appliances, mattresses, a pile of electronics and several plastic bags of garbage.
Fed up, he took photographs of the unsightly mess, which his wife Janice then posted on her Facebook page Sunday. The images have been shared nearly 200 times since then, with numerous people commenting about their disgust and frustration.
“I can take a little bit of it because it’s always been a bit of a problem, but it turns my stomach when it’s this blatant and in your face and I’ve had enough of it,” said Sweetland Monday. “This is such an ongoing problem. You would think, in these modern times, people would have more modern thinking.”
Illegal dumping on Lady Slipper Road has been a persistent problem for years.
Sadly, the problem of illegal dumping has not gone away, despite 19 municipalities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador setting up video surveillance of trouble spots they have identified.
The City of Corner Brook is among those that have some sort of security camera setup, although it hasn’t been confirmed if any cameras have been set up in the Lady Slipper Road area.
Sweetland, who said he has forwarded information to the City of Corner Brook, said there are receipts and digital devices that could lead investigators to finding out who is responsible for the latest mess. He has a good idea who the culprits are, though he would not disclose the suspects he has on his list.
“I am willing to share what I know in confidence with the city or with the provincial environment department,” said Sweetland. “I would like to see something done about it. Without enforcement and stricter penalties, this is not going to go away.”
The Lady Slipper Road area wasn’t the only place to get singled out for its illegal dumping problem this weekend. In response to Sweetland’s post, references were also made to an area in behind Massey Drive littered with garbage and discarded appliances, despite “no littering” and “surveillance” signage in the area.
The Lady Slipper Road area in question falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Corner Brook. No one from the municipality was available for an interview Monday, but the city did confirm this matter, like many other reports of illegal dumping is being investigated by municipal enforcement officers and the site will be cleaned up.
Sweetland said today’s technology allows for cameras that could zoom in on licence plates of vehicles coming and going on Lady Slipper Road and it shouldn’t be difficult to get to the bottom of these situations.
Who is watching?
To date, 19 municipalities in Newfoundland and Labrador have implemented surveillance programs to deter illegal dumping, including 10 communities funded by the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board through its Illegal Dumping Surveillance Program.
As a result of implementation of illegal dumping surveillance cameras in the province, more than 40 charges have been laid, resulting in more than 30 convictions.
Communities using surveillance cameras include:
- Conception Bay South
- Conception Harbour
- Corner Brook
- Deer Lake*
- Grand Falls-Windsor*
- Happy Valley-Goose Bay*
- Labrador City*
- Mount Pearl
- Northern Peninsula Regional Service Board (on behalf of communities on the Northern Peninsula)*
- St. John’s
*Funded by MMSB
Source: Multi-Materials Stewardship Board