Taking your trash and dumping it on someone else’s land has got to be one of the most juvenile and lazy ways a person can spend their time.
And yet it keeps happening. Every summer. Year after year.
Despite curbside pickup, despite dumping fees at approved disposal sites being nominal, and despite all nature-given common sense and courtesy – it keeps happening.
Take a drive down pretty much any dirt road on the Island and chances are you won’t have to poke around long before you find a pile of someone’s trash.
Everything from kitchen scraps to furniture can be found littering farmers' fields and private woodlots.
And you know what?
It’s not a nice thing to find on your property.
As a landowner, all this stuff is now your responsibility to dispose of, costing time and money.
And it’s surely not a nice feeling, knowing that one of your neighbours cared so little for you that they decided to shove their trash onto your proverbial lap.
And what happens when the site is eventually cleaned up? 'No Trespassing' signs, fences and gates pop up to try and stop people from doing anything like that again.
These measures are unfortunate and frankly don’t go very far to foster community spirit – but what other recourse does a landowner have?
In Newfoundland and Labrador illegal dumping has, like in most rural areas, been a problem over the years.
One community, Conception Bay South, near St. John’s, took it upon itself pick up a couple of wireless surveillance cameras and park them at well known drop-off sites for illegal dumping.
Guess what showed up on the front page of the local newspaper not long after, Courtesy of the Town of Conception Bay South? A picture, clear as day, of two people unloading building supplies from their truck and chucking them in a pile on somebody’s land.
Their faces were washed out to protect their identities, as charges were still pending, but it was still a pretty powerful statement by the community.
“It’s a dumb thing to do,” said the town’s mayor in a followup interview.
Yes it was, Mr. Mayor.
And it’s a safe bet those two guys in that picture felt pretty dumb following the publishing of that picture.
Bet they wish they’d just gone to the dump like everybody else.