METRO Vancouver’s Put Waste in Its Place campaign is back for a third year, reminding residents to do the right thing by disposing of their unwanted items responsibly instead of illegally dumping them in alleys, parks and on the curbside.
Local municipalities spend more than $5 million annually to clean up illegal dumping and are taking tougher measures against those caught in the act.
“We are all taught from a young age not to litter,” said Jack Froese, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. “We know it’s wrong, and with so many cost-effective – even free – ways to properly dispose of waste, it’s perplexing that some people still choose to dump their unwanted items on the side of the road, in our parks, and alleyways.”
In 2018, Metro Vancouver municipalities recorded over 40,000 incidents of abandoned waste. Mattresses, furniture, appliances, electronics and green waste continued to be the most commonly dumped items, and the majority of incidents were attributed to home renovations, students and move-outs.
“There is simply no need to abandon waste,” Froese said. “In addition to free municipal collection services, many delivery companies will take away old mattresses or appliances for a small fee, which is much cheaper than receiving a fine for illegally dumping. Disposing of unwanted items correctly is cheaper in the long run and prevents waste from becoming eyesores in our neighbourhoods.”
A number of local municipalities offer spring clean-ups or annual garage sales, while others will collect up to six large items per household annually, free of charge. Many municipalities will also allow residents to schedule a pick up that coincides with regularly scheduled garbage or on a specified date chosen with as little as a week’s notice.
“Residents are more likely to improperly dispose of items at the end of the month or on moving days,” says Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of Metro Vancouver. “With a little foresight, residents can easily rid themselves of unwanted items, without degrading someone’s neighbourhood and breaking the law.”
Residents are encouraged to visit wasteinitsplace.ca for disposal options, pop-up junk days and spring cleaning events, as well as information on what services Metro Vancouver municipalities offer for large item disposal.