‘We’re going to have a mess’
Wildlife group advocating for heavy garbage pickup
Members of a wildlife group are hoping the Cape Breton Regional Municipality will reconsider its cancellation of the heavy garbage pickup program.
“If the heavy garbage isn’t picked up Sand Lake Road will be a mess and the Broughton Road will be a mess,” said Stan Peach, treasurer of the Port Morien Wildlife Association.
“There’s not too many times you go down Sand Lake Road that there’s not something there. I’ve seen fridges, washers, dryers, you name it.”
Peach said the sad thing is their members end up picking up these items to be disposed of properly.
The popular heavy garbage pickup service didn’t receive funding when CBRM council approved a $149-million operating budget last week.
Mayor Cecil Clarke says he wants public feedback on the issue since 4,600 tons of “damaged goods” were collected following the October floods.
Normally between 2,8003,300 tons of heavy garbage is picked up during the spring collection.
The mayor said if heavy garbage is a public priority then it will be brought back to council for consideration.
Peach said the wildlife association will be looking for a way to address the CBRM as they have dealt with heavy garbage issues forever.
“With no heavy garbage
pickup the problem will double or triple, we’re going to have a mess on our hands out there,” he said.
Jeff McNeil, a director with the Port Morien Wildlife Association, said if there is no heavy garbage pickup in the spring the illegal dumping is going to be worse than ever.
“It’s going to magnify because right now we have issues,” he said. “When it comes to heavy garbage we’re just going to see more people going with pickup
trucks and dumping it because it’s going to be easier.”
McNeil said he recently reported more dumping issues in the area of Mary Joe Road in River Ryan and complaints have come in to the association from New Boston Road and Woodbine Road.
He said there has been dumping at Kilkenny Lake, the community water supply, for years including burned cars.
“There are even 13 burnt cars over behind the airport in the
old strip mine.”
McNeil, who is also a member of the Isle Royale ATV Club, said it’s always the non-profit groups who go out and clean up these areas.
He questions why the CBRM is using the post-flood collection as a reason for not having a spring collection, when last October’s collection cost may be picked up by the disaster relief fund.
He also questions the province’s classification of eight bags of garage or less as “littering” and eight bags or more as “an illegal dumpsite.”
“It shouldn’t matter if it’s one bag or eight bags in the woods, it’s illegal dumping. This needs to be changed.”
CBRM communications adviser Christina Lamey said the municipality has applied to the disaster relief fund to recoup the cost of the damaged goods pickup after the flooding but there is no guarantee it will be received.
“The flooding might have been heavy in Sydney and Glace Bay but every community was affected.”
Lamey said the budget was done in February and the yearend is not until late March.
“Council will be looking at this again at year-end and more decisions will be made.”
She said in the meantime councillors need to hear from residents.
“We are hearing back from people already which is good.”
Stan Wadden, treasurer of the Port Morien Wildlife Association, looks over a barbecue someone dumped about 20 feet into the woods off Sand Lake Road. Peach says if the heavy garbage pickup isn’t held in the spring, the problem of illegal dumping will double or triple.
Numerous signs warning against illegal dumping can be found all along Sand Lake Road however members of the Port Morien Wildlife Association say it’s hard to go down this road without seeing garbage.