Tak­ing away the trash

Mu­nic­i­pal­ity clean­ing up il­le­gal dump site dis­cov­ered on their prop­erty

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE

The cleanup of a large il­le­gal dump site dis­cov­ered on Cape Bre­ton Regi­nal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity prop­erty is un­der­way this week.

“It’s an es­ti­mated cost of $20,000 to clean up the site,” said Dist. 10 Coun. Dar­ren Bruckschwaiger.

“The high costs are due to the amount (of garbage) that’s ac­tu­ally there.”

Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Po­lice have charged Don­ald Gor­don MacDonald, 72, of At­lantic Street, Re­serve Mines in con­junc­tion with il­le­gal dump­ing at this site. MacDonald is to en­ter a plea July 20.

“It’s my hope costs as­so­ci­ated with this cleanup can be re­ceived back in the tax­payer’s cof­fers,” Bruckschwaiger said.

Bruckschwaiger said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing.

“It’s my un­der­stand­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing with fur­ther charges pos­si­bly be­ing laid. It’s go­ing to be cleaned up and then there’s plans in place to put up some more bar­ri­cades to block off the site and pos­si­bly more video mon­i­tor­ing.”

In a story in the Cape Bre­ton Post on May 8, res­i­dents of the area be­lieve for decades house­hold and in­dus­trial garbage has been dumped be­hind the wa­ter tower in Re­serve Mines on CBRM prop­erty. Res­i­dents — many too scared to give their name — sus­pected the ma­jor­ity of the dump­ing at the site was be­ing done for com­mer­cial pur­poses for the past 20 to 40 years and said they have filed mul­ti­ple com­plaints with the CBRM, Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Po­lice and the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment over that time.

Bruckschwaiger said he’s also go­ing to ask res­i­dents to be vig­i­lant so this doesn’t hap­pen again.

“Also, there’s been re­ports many calls have been made on the garbage at this site but per­son­ally my­self I’ve never got a call about the garbage. I got calls on fires but not garbage.”

Bruckschwaiger said he’s ask­ing that any­one see­ing any ac­tiv­ity in that area to call di­rect to the CBRM’s solid waste hot­line at 902-567-1337 or to call him.

“The area will all be cleaned up and straight­ened away and we don’t want to see that hap­pen again there.”

Jil­lian Moore, com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the CBRM, con­firmed MacDonald Truck­ing of North Syd­ney has been con­tracted for the cleanup, which be­gan this week and is ex­pected to fin­ish on Saturday.

Moore con­firmed the cost of the cleanup is $20,000 and that the CBRM will be look­ing to get re­im­bursed. The CBRM is also tak­ing steps to se­cure the area.

“Mov­ing for­ward, there will be fenc­ing in­stalled as a de­ter­rent, and mon­i­tor­ing with cam­era as well as pe­ri­odic phys­i­cal in­spec­tions.” Dy­lan Yates, founder of the Cape Bre­ton En­vi­ron­men­tal As­so­ci­a­tion, has been at the site many times and found piles of garbage were moved and half­buried and many small hills were cov­ered with grass that had rusted met­als pok­ing out and other garbage close by sug­gest­ing the ac­tiv­ity had been go­ing on for years.

Yates said one of his big con­cerns was what has been buried for years, in­clud­ing old oil tanks and old cars dis­cov­ered there.

“Res­i­dents ex­plained to me there were open pits there and all the garbage over the years was be­ing buried.”

Yates, who is fin­ish­ing his bach­e­lor of en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­nol­ogy de­gree at Cape Bre­ton Uni­ver­sity, has been study­ing sit­u­a­tions like this, learn­ing about the harm­ful chem­i­cals that can leach into the ground.

“Lots of peo­ple are wor­ried about what’s un­der the ground there and the im­pli­ca­tions of what’s mak­ing its way from the site un­der­ground.”

Yates said as far as dig­ging ev­ery­thing up, he knows the CBRM won’t do that but he be­lieves mon­i­tor­ing wells should be in­stalled to see if there’s any con­tam­i­na­tion in ground wa­ter in the area.

“Clean­ing the sur­face stuff is one thing but ig­nor­ing the fact stuff has been buried un­der there for 20 plus years — chem­i­cals, cars, oils — is an­other thing. Just be­cause you bury it doesn’t mean it doesn’t go any­where.”

Mean­while, Const. Dan Lewis of the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Po­lice Ser­vice said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the il­le­gal dump­ing at this site is con­tin­u­ing and he con­firmed there is the pos­si­bil­ity of a sec­ond per­son be­ing charged.

Lewis, who took on the role of in­ves­ti­gat­ing il­le­gal dump­ing in con­junc­tion with CBRM Solid Waste depart­ment in Jan­uary, said it’s def­i­nitely the worst case of il­le­gal dump­ing he has seen so far.

SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Ron Ivey, ma­chine op­er­a­tor with MacDonald’s Truck­ing and Back­hoe in North Syd­ney, works at clean­ing up il­le­gal dump­ing dis­cov­ered on CBRM prop­erty where the wa­ter tower is lo­cated in Re­serve Mines. A Re­serve Mines man has been charged and po­lice say a...

Yates

Bruckschwaiger

SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE/CAPE BRE­TON POST

An­other area of the CBRM prop­erty in Re­serve Mines where il­le­gal dump­ing is tak­ing place.

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