An east-end businessman is seething after finding four bags of trash dumped outside his shop early Monday, then learning it’s his responsibility to get rid of them.
“I called the city to have them removed and they said it’s my problem ,’cause I don’t know where they came from,” said the manager of Lebrun Service Centre, who asked not to have his name published.
He suspects it’s a result of bi-weekly garbage pick-up, which began Oct. 29.
The move will save the city an estimated $10 million, and extend the life of the Trail Rd. landfill.
Located on a busy strip of St. Laurent Blvd., south of Hemlock Rd., the bags were placed in a parking space next to a dumpster in front of the auto shop, he said, and staff moved them to make room for a car.
After asking the 311 operator if the trash would be picked up if taken to city property, he said he was told he’d be charged with littering.
“Typical city of Ottawa stupidity, I guess. That’s the way to put it,” he said.
“I just don’t think it’s acceptable and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
People have dumped their trash before, usually when moving.
“They’ll find the nearest dumpster and it happens all the time,” he said.
In August, he said, the garage changed the plastic dumpster lids over to steel.
The garage pays around $100 every four to six weeks to have the dumpster emptied, he said.
The majority of their materials are steel and cardboard, which are recycled, so “we don’t have a lot of garbage.”
River Coun. Maria McRae, head of council’s environment committee, said this is the first illegal dumping complaint.
“It would be up to the owner to prove where that waste came from,” said McRae.
With the adjustment to the new garbage pickup schedule, “I think it’s challenging for people, but I don’t think Ottawans are not taking responsibility for their waste,” she said.
Perpetrators caught dumping trash will be fined by police or bylaw.
“We’ve been very clear, from the beginning, saying it’s unacceptable to do that,” said McRae.
Illegal dumping comes with a $365 fine, said McRae, adding she personally verified the amount with general manager for emergency and protective services, Susan Jones.
“People need to be responsible and not bring their garbage to someone else’s place. That’s the bottom line,” said McRae.