The City has attempted to block vehicle access to parks and undeveloped areas around town. In many cases these barriers are eventually breached and, unfortunately, this inevitably leads to fly-tipping.
The earthen berm at the end of the Community Auditorium parking lot has been periodically rebuilt. The most recent removal of this barrier allowed at least one vehicle to drive between the baseball diamonds in Incinerator Park, tearing up the grass, and at least one pick-up truck load of trash was dumped at the edge of the bush inside the park this spring.
I can imagine the motives of some people, who are anxious to receive their rental damage-deposit back when they move. Many do not have access to a truck, or the money to rent one. This includes a few post-secondary students who move away after exams in the spring. The City policies regarding residential garbage pickup and tipping fees at the dump are sound but it has to be acknowledged that these same policies will motivate some to dispose of their trash where ever they can. The costs of monitoring, and cleaning up this sort of household waste from parks and undeveloped areas, and perhaps offering dump runs for low income families, should be included in the overall implementation of these policies.
I applaud all of the individuals and organisations that participate in the annual Spring-up to Clean-up program, promoted by EcoSuperior. But, perhaps, the thousands of hours of volunteer labour used to clean up Thunder Bay and pull tires, couches and all manner of debris from the bush, allows the City to be complacent about keeping vehicles out of some areas, providing and maintaining garbage cans, and considering the needs of people who can’t afford to properly deal with large quantities of trash. If the City had to pay their own employees for the hours it takes to do the Spring-up to Clean-up campaign, I think there would be more effort put in to prevent the problem in the first place.
There are a few people that have access to a truck and still choose to illegally dump their garbage. Preventing vehicle access to parkland in the city, lighting and monitoring of other areas, and increasing the maximum fine for illegally dumping are some measures that should be taken.
On a final note, for those that don’t consider yard waste, such as tree branches, as garbage – the reason you don’t leave it on your own front lawn is because it soon starts to look like an ugly pile of trash!