Albertans urged to report illegal garbage dumping

Is the August long weekend an ideal time to dump trash in Alberta’s camping regions? The provincial government says no. Definitely not.

It reminded Albertans Aug. 3 to call the Report a Poacher hotline if they see any abuse of public land while they are out and about this weekend or at any time.

In a news release, the government said 2,400 “enforcement actions, prosecutions or written warnings” have already occurred this season.

A particularly egregious incident involved the dumping of 55 commercial air conditioning units in one forested region. Officials have also found abandoned kitchen appliances and vehicles on public lands.

Report a Poacher has received 100 calls to report public land abuse so far this year. Though the name of the line refers to poaching, it is also the way to report major littering or vehicles operating in water bodies or closed areas.

Fines up to $100,000 can apply for dumping garbage on public lands. People can also be ordered to remediate the damage, said the news release.

As examples, “on July 21, an effort to clean up public lands around Fort McMurray cleared out more than 2,400 kilograms of debris from the Highway 63 Trout Pond, including a truck bed and an engine block,” said the release.

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“Clean-up efforts at Hilda Lake near Cold Lake in June led to the removal of two abandoned RVs, broken appliances and furniture and enough garbage to fill four industrial-sized dumpsters.”

Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips put Albertans on notice of enforcement to protect public lands.

“Respecting our wild spaces and leaving them in pristine shape is an Albertan thing to do. While summer cleanup campaigns are underway, our enforcement officers are cracking down on individuals caught using public land as their personal dump,” said Phillips.

The Report a Poacher number is 800-642-3800.

Contact barb.glen@producer.com

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  • Monkeeworks

    If Alberta is like BC, then the purchaser pays an environmental fee when they purchase a household item like a wash machine. Then when the unit is finished it’s life span we take it to the dump, and have to pay a disposal cost for the unit (metal is saved then crushed and sold to portable crushers, again bringing in cash). And it is not cheap! $20.00 to get rid of an old tire, $40.00 if it is on a rim. $3.50 to dispose of a single bag of household garbage. Old house shingles on a regular size bungalow, over $1,000.00. Now consider how far it is to the dump, trailer rental for some, time and effort to get it there. My question then, is: Where is the incentive for these people to take their garbage to the dump? Years ago any citizen with the initiative to take their garbage to the dump was free. Construction companies paid. I fail to see where the government is making any money by charging tippage when they say it costs so much to clean up illegal dumping. Dump management was paid for out of our taxes, not taxes and our wallets.

    • Harold

      What you have described happens every time when responsibility is taken away from the public sector and is handed over to government control. The government turns it into an ineffective system and cash cow. The only thing that the government does is take from you what you already freely have, and then $ regulates it, and $ licenses it, $ taxes it, and then gives it back with fees attached, such as your washing machine, car, tires, business, home, and the list goes on and on Without government, the old washing machine is sold to a private company and they in turn sell it to a private prefabricating company and so forth ending with a product on the store shelf. The private public sector creates jobs and the $ government gets rid of jobs. (Landfill and illegal dumping) It is important to keep government as far away from the public sector as is possible.

      • ed

        Agreed. We never had any of these problems when there were proper free dumps. They pay for cans. That works. There is your model. Pretty simple and elementary stuff, but in the new world we have created where commin sense is now a super power, things get complicated. We may soon have to build more jails for more good people to stay in. Don’t laugh at that one, it is talked about often.

  • bufford54

    Extreme cases of illegal dumping should include incarceration.