Qualicum Beach town council is thinking about putting more garbage cans back on their waterfront pathway, after recent complaints that trash is being left beside the remaining cans — by people who are throwing away household garbage.
More trash cans will certainly help keep the beach clean, but the problem of illegal dumping won’t go away.
The town had been picking up garbage cans nearly three times a day, according to staff, as they dealt with excess trash from people’s homes and RVs. It’s one of the hazards of being a tourist area — people who come here generate garbage and they, too, need somewhere to put it all.
That’s one issue. Another is people who live here using the town’s bins — and the dumpsters of local businesses — as their clandestine dumping ground.
Technically speaking, this is called theft of service and can bring about police fines, should it be enforced. Yet, in reality, this is unlikely to happen.
Nor is it likely that the people with a propensity for tossing trash — instead of taking it to the transfer station or waiting for garbage day — will change their ways.
So, add more trash cans and let them dump freely. Then, instead of town staff picking up the stuff that people leave on the ground and taking it to the collection area, tear open the bags, read the receipts and find out just who left it there. If it’s a local person, the garbage should be taken back to their house and left on their doorstep.
Maybe add a little note, stating that this won’t happen again, and if it does, the returned trash will be accompanied by the bearer of an awfully large fine.
Sounds like a lot of extra work, but there’s probably only a small number of people who could be called dumpers.
A few visits from boomeranging garbage might serve as a deterrent for the rest of them.
Maybe, just maybe, they will clean up their acts.
– editorial by Steven Heywood