People dumping their household garbage into garbage containers around City of Powell River has resulted in a reduction of bins available for the public.
Discussion on the matter was spurred by a letter from resident Tina Bevans, reviewed at the Tuesday, August 13, committee of the whole meeting.
In her letter to council, Bevans stated she was writing regarding the disappearing garbage cans in the city. She stated that when she arrived in Powell River, she had no difficulty disposing of her garbage when she purchased a coffee or treat. Today, she finds herself searching for a garbage can to put her coffee cup, sandwich wrapping, gum and wrapping. She asked in her letter where they have gone.
Mayor Dave Formosa said he understands Bevans’ frustration when she is moving about the community with garbage in her hand. He said he thinks the bins are being filled with household garbage.
“These garbage bins we used to have everywhere, and businesses used to have everywhere, we’ve just all pulled them in because daily, there’s this household garbage,” said Formosa.
City director of infrastructure Tor Birtig said some of the larger green garbage bins have been removed because of the abuse that has occurred. He said one bin was taken out recently because a lineup of people could be seen dropping off their household garbage.
With respect to litter bins, the city has to be cognizant of bear issues and bear-proof containers have to be put in, which is not always easy.
“We do have some solutions that hopefully our chief financial officer will bring forward for options when we are talking about our garbage tag system and how we are dealing with those issues, but the abuse to date has been very troublesome for us,” said Birtig. “We have not removed litter bins per se but we have removed some of our larger green containers. Our hope is that people deal with their own litter and trash on their own.”’
Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman, chair of the committee of the whole, said just after Bevans’ letter came in, she was walking along Marine Avenue and counted six of the litter bins along the street in a two-block radius, so the litter bins are still in place. Leishman said the bins, with a little round hole, work well because people cannot stuff their household garage in there.
“I think they are emptied out on a regular basis and I haven’t seen too many issues with those,” said Leishman. “I think that is what Ms. Bevans is referring to, that maybe there are fewer of those around other parts of the city.
“I was a little annoyed with the letter that she can’t be bothered to purchase a reusable coffee cup. We all need to be more responsible. I don’t buy a coffee if I don’t have my reusable mug with me.”