Although it sounds like a cliché punchline, City of Powell River’s Public Works Department has found everything including a kitchen sink dumped in its green garbage bin at the south harbour. The large, city-owned receptacle is intended for the use of harbour patrons, according to city roads supervisor Cam Reed, but that has not stopped residents from travelling to discard their household waste there.
“We’re keeping [the bins] open to make it as convenient as possible for harbour users but we’re having a lot of other waste being dumped, like household garbage from residents in town, a lot of commercial debris and, I’m fairly confident, the odd bit of hazardous waste,” said Reed.
The motivation is financial, he added.
“This is just people trying to save a little cash and not take it out to Augusta Recycling directly or not putting it curbside for us to pick up,” he said.
The city contracts Augusta Recycling for its solid waste disposal. The increase in rubbish at the bin has meant the city has had to double pickups from once per week on Fridays to twice a week on Monday and Friday.
“It’s been getting worse each year and this year it’s escalated to a point where we have increased our pickups, which takes us away from other things,” said city superintendent of public works Murray Steer, who urges the public to stop dumping household waste and other materials in the harbour bin or at other public sites such as Willingdon Beach.