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Trash dumping makes mess in Coquitlam

Piles of garbage was seen strewn in front of the Coquitlam Town Centre recycling facility Tuesday morning after the gates were accidentally left locked over the weekend. - JAY PEACHY/SUBMITTED PHOTO
Piles of garbage was seen strewn in front of the Coquitlam Town Centre recycling facility Tuesday morning after the gates were accidentally left locked over the weekend.
— image credit: JAY PEACHY/SUBMITTED PHOTO

Coquitlam city employees were cleaning up trash on Tuesday after residents dumped piles of garbage at the gates of the Town Centre recycling facility over the Easter long weekend.

Jodie Lush, the communications coordinator with the city of Coquitlam, said it appeared the gates of the centre were accidentally kept locked on Saturday and Sunday. That, however, did not appear to stop some people from disposing their garbage outside the fence.

"Dumping is always a big issue," she said. "Especially at the recycling depots because there are not always attendants. It does take a while to cleanup."

Lush said that usually when people dump their refuse illegally it is at the recycling centre, however there have been some incidents where garbage has been dumped in ravines.

When illegal dumping does occur, Smithrite Disposal, the company that holds the city's garbage contract, is usually able to pick up the trash right away, she added.

Bill Susak, the city's manager of engineering, said the Town Centre recycling drop-off area was more prone to dumping than Coquitlam's second facility on Mariner Way.

Mariner's recycling centre is more visible and sits next to a city-run works yard that is in regular operation.

"There is more passive security at the Mariner station," he said. "The Town Centre one is a bit more secluded."

While dumping is not on the rise in the city of Coquitlam, he said it is still frustrating and costly, taking up staff time that could be used for other things.

"It is just very selfish behaviour," he said. "It would be nice if people didn't do it."

Residents are encouraged to use the city's second recycling depot at Mariner Way north of Austin if the Town Centre recycling depot is inaccessible.

The city also allows for a large household item pickup at least four times a year. In 2011 more than 1,000 mattresses and box springs were recycled through the program, which is free of charge.

For more information go to www.coquitlam.ca/recycling.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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