EDITORIAL: Illegal dumping problem needs a better fix

Problem goes deeper than laziness - It’s not cheap to properly dispose of larger items at Hartland landfill

The problem of illegal dumping in Saanich and other Greater Victoria municipalities is endemic.

Worn-out couches, recliners and mattresses often riddle particular streets, as nearby neighbours scoff at the lack of pride shown by others in their community.

But the problem goes deeper than laziness. It’s not cheap to properly dispose of larger household goods at the Capital Region’s dump, Hartland landfill, nor is it anywhere near convenient.

The lure of a quiet boulevard during the stress of a move means a lot of unwanted toasters and TVs become eyesores waiting to be vandalized and eventually picked up by municipal crews. Any items of value are quickly scooped up by passersby.

Exacerbating the problem is a lack of widespread awareness about the province’s product stewardship program, in which dozens of kitchen appliances, electronics, lightbulbs and florescent tubes, paint and mechanical oils can be dropped off at various recycling stations without charge. (Find a full list of recyclable items here.)

As stated by Saanich’s solid waste services manager Dave McAra in today’s story, it would be nice to see more pride in the cleanliness of one’s neighbourhood. But it would be equally nice to figure out a way for residents to dump their larger items in a proper location without charge. Perhaps a system where one annual large drop-off is permitted is a place to start.

Until then, remember the boulevards and empty lots are no place for your crusty couch.

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