Security camera footage helped police identify someone who illegally dumped garbage behind the Prospect Lake Community Hall.
Just before noon on May 21, a Nest security camera outside the community hall on Sparton Road captured footage of someone ditching household garbage, yard waste, construction materials and a large stuffed animal outside the building, said Prospect Lake District Community Association (PLDCA) Chair Kaeley Wiseman.
The footage shows a grey truck with a red mark on the left side and a truck bed full of trash parked next to the building.
“This is not the first time this has occurred during our quarantine times but folks are getting bolder by doing it in the middle of the day,” Wiseman said, adding that since the pandemic began, there have been at least six dumping incidents. “It is one reason we have set up and now monitor cameras on our property, sadly.”
There’s a “ridiculous amount” of illegal dumping in rural Saanich, Wiseman said. She added that not only is the behaviour disrespectful, but the waste removal is time-consuming and costly for the PLDCA – a non-profit run and owned by volunteers – as it often includes materials such as asbestos which is expensive to clean up.
Photos of the truck and the pile of garbage were posted to the PLDCA Facebook page on Thursday evening in hopes of finding the person responsible. In the comments section, residents voiced disdain for the behaviour, drawing the attention of Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes who was also disappointed.
He was pleased when the PLDCA posted again on Friday morning announcing that the person who “dumped the junk” had been caught. The original post was shared nearly 400 times.
The man responsible for the illegal dumping was found through social media, Wiseman said. She passed his name and information on to the Saanich Police Department and to Saanich Bylaw Enforcement and by Friday afternoon, the man had come back to collect everything he’d dumped the day before.
Wiseman hopes that by sharing the incident with the community and increasing awareness, behaviour will change. She emphasized that while wait times at the Hartland Landfill and the Saanich Public Works Yard are currently long, illegally dumping waste isn’t an option.