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Despite ongoing enforcement and strategies, people continue to flout garbage laws

Landfills and illegal waste continue to be a problem in Queens and Lunenburg counties, despite the best efforts of county officials and authorities. “There has been a marked increase in illegal dumping since the first of the year, as we have reported through complaints from residents,” Queens Municipality (RQM) Mayor Darlene Norman reported in an email. “Having said that, our staff are from Region 6 and our numbers are low based on what other municipal units are saying.” The Nova Scotia Region 6 Solid Waste Management Zone supports the solid waste management efforts of the area municipalities of Queens, Shelburne, Barrington, Lunenburg, Chester and Windsor / East Hants, as well as the towns of Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Bridgewater and Lockeport. , Shelburne and Clarke’s Harbor. Its staff are responsible for the planning, training, audits, public awareness, management and enforcement of solid waste management in this area. RQM has two staff members responsible for investigating the discharges and possible culprits. RQM’s waste management facility is located on Highway 8, approximately 15 minutes north of Liverpool. According to Norman, a “rather large” historic dump that has been in use for years was recently discovered just 20 minutes from the facility. She pointed out that the RQM offers many possibilities for people to legally dispose of waste. Residents of RQM are entitled to four free dumps of all residential waste per year, and the hours of operation of the waste management facility are scheduled to provide residents with sufficient time to attend. “It makes me wonder why anyone would choose to dump illegally when they could take it to our landfill,” the mayor said. “The mere fact that these people have so little regard for our natural environment is disturbing,” she added, noting that almost all illegal landfills consist of household garbage. 10 years ago. Some commercial waste still occurs in the gray boxes, which is illegal, but law enforcement has struggled to catch the perpetrators. The large wooden lidded boxes located at the end of private roads should only be used for properly sorted garbage, recyclable materials and compost. Norman has stated quite often that these areas are used instead as dumping grounds for furniture, car parts and construction debris. Contractors would tend not to use private roads, in part because for much of the year some road standards are questionable. Norman warned that RQM has no tolerance for illegal dumping and those convicted can be charged up to $ 697.50 per incident. During a telephone conversation, the mayor suggested that much of the trash found on the road came from the same people or families. “It’s often that you find the same type of can of soft drink or alcoholic drink on the side of the road. The same local and usual people do it, ”she said, adding that it was“ a learned habit. “If a child is brought up in a family that just rolls down the window and dumps their trash, they’ll do the same.” Although she says the region is doing its best to reduce landfills and waste, there is still a lot of cleanup to be done each year. The area encourages people to report litter and do their part to clean things up in their community. Each year, the RQM sets aside money in its budget for a community waste collection fund. The fund is intended for community non-profit groups who can apply to collect road waste and be paid for it. Many use it as a fundraising technique. The rate is $ 100 per kilometer for cleaning, on both sides of the highway, up to a maximum of three kilometers or $ 300. RQM provides garbage bags, gloves and collectors. Eight groups have signed up for this year so far, and there’s room for more. Lunenburg District Municipality Justin Cleveland, Outreach and Compliance Officer for Common Services City Council – Lunenburg Regional Recycling Center, said his area is facing the same situation, or at least with regard to the dumping of renovation materials. “There have been quite a few people doing renovations and I guess they don’t want to pay the tip fees. There have been a lot of spills of household shingles, old building and renovation materials, ”he said. Most of the dumping takes place on secondary roads in the municipality. Once the dumping site has been identified, Cleveland goes to the scene to try to find out who the offender is. This is followed by an educational letter or, barring a pandemic, a visit, with the intention of the author cleaning up the mess. A fine could also be imposed. Occasionally, signs and cameras may be installed in hot spots to deter or catch offenders in action. However, according to Cleveland, general waste isn’t a big deal in Lunenburg County. “Obviously you get the fast food cups and containers, but that hasn’t been a big deal,” he said, adding that in most places residents keep things pretty clean. and tidy, and sometimes people take a garbage bag. with them on their walks and pick up the rubbish they encounter. The municipality has a once-a-year incentive cleanup program similar to the one in Queens. Cleveland is striving to become a special constable, which means he will be able to further investigate and prosecute offenders for their actions. COVID-19 has delayed his ability to take the necessary training. The Lunenburg Regional Community Recycling Center is currently closed to the public, but open to contractors. The closure will be reassessed on May 28. Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin


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