Public trash cans misused

Andrew Wagstaff
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Town fed up with household garbage being placed in Main Street receptacles

Public garbage cans are not meant to be used for the disposal of household garbage, and the town will no longer tolerate it, says Ashley Brown.

Public trash cans misused

Public garbage cans are not meant to be used for the disposal of household garbage, and the town will no longer tolerate it, says Ashley Brown.

The town clerk was fed up last week after public works employees reported finding household garbage in the public receptacles along Main Street and at First Beach, and said the problem shows no signs of going away.

Every year it seems to be growing, said public works employee Gordie Strong.

The public garbage cans are designed to be used by people like those who buy something in the local stores and have small things like packaging to toss away, according to Brown.

Its designed so they will put the stuff in the cans instead of littering the streets, he said. Its designed to reduce the amount and prevent litter. But what is happening is were finding local residents, whether they be permanent residents or those who stay at cottages, are bringing household garbage and putting them in these receptacles.

County residents are also bringing garbage in and placing it in the receptacles, according to Brown.

In Parrsboro, private garbage collectors are available to pick up residential garbage. The county also offers this service, as well as transfer stations where residents can drop off their own garbage.

But not everyone takes advantage of these services. In Parrsboro, for example, there are a little over 800 households, but only 500 to 600 are known customers of the local garbage collectors.

Most of these receptacles are not left out during the winter, so I dont know what these people are doing with their garbage during the winter months, said Brown, who said the issue was a small factor when the town considered switching to municipal collection over private collection earlier this year.

Such a decision would not have kept county residents from abusing the public cans, but might have solved the problem of town residents doing it, according to Strong.

It probably would have helped, he said. If youre paying for it on your taxes, youre not going to bother lugging (the garbage) to put it somewhere else. You just put it at the roadside and guaranteed its going to come off.

As it is the problem is creating extra workload for public works staff, who average between 40 to 50 bags per week in the public receptacles, which are picked up twice weekly. The extra workload means extra expense for the town taxpayer, while the town also pays for the garbage to be taken to the Little Forks landfill.

The town will now be investigating instances of household garbage being left in the public cans, and will try to determine who is doing it. Guilty parties will first get a warning, and could wind up in court, according to Brown.

Its unfortunate it has to come to this, he said.

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Little Forks

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