It’s been a long number of years since Wantage road led to a municipal dump in Prince Rupert, but word apparently takes a long time to reach the ears of some Prince Rupert residents.
The area was cleaned up as recently as last April by a group of local environmentalists, but a recent tour of the area has shown that Rupertites have returned to discard their unwanted fridges, stoves and garbage along the side of the road and into the creek that runs along it.
The Daily news featured the tale of the nasty mess as its front page story in Wednesday’s paper.
CLEAN-UP EFFORTS TRASHED AS SLOBS CARRY ON DUMPING
People still using Wantage Road as a dump-site to the dismay of enviros
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Pages one and three
Less than three months after a group of volunteers cleaned up the garbage dumped on Wantage Road, the site is a mess again.
David Konsmo told council this week that people have continued dumping there.
“Unfortunately, and totally predictably, the success of our young environmental stewards has been short-lived. Since the clean-up, individuals have continued to dump all kinds of garbage along Wantage Road,” he said.
The Kaien Environmental Youth Society (KEYS) and WWF-Canada held the clean-up in April, and volunteers hauled truck-loads of garbage out from next to the road that runs along the base of Mount Hays.
However, Konsmo has walked the area since and seen a fridge and freezer, large metal cooler and stacks of prunings that have been abandoned.
“At some future time, someone else is going to have to clean up this mess,” he said.
He encouraged council to look at solutions to stop people from dumping in the area, including placing a gate at the entrance to the roadway so it could not be accessed by vehicles without a key.
“I’m sure city council joins me in praising these young people for their contribution, but if city council chooses to make no effort to correct this problem. I think that these young people could be forgiven for feeling that praise rings a little shallow,” he said.
Coun. Tony Briglio said he believes the problem exists because the landfill site is not open on Sundays and asked staff to investigate the possibility of a Sunday opening.
“It hurts to see if there are few days after it’s been cleaned,” he said of the garbage.
However, Coun. Ken Cote said he remembers when the landfill was located on Wantage Road , was open 24 hours a day, and people still used to stop short a quarter of a kilometer short and dump their garbage along the road.
Coun. Joy Thorkelson said she would like to see council have a discussion about the future development of Mount Hays.
However, council members questioned whether they could actually block a road that is maintained by the provincial agency, Crown Lands.
Currently, there is a wind farm development taking place at the top of the mountain and the city has received an application for permission to hose eco-tours in the area. The top of Mount Hays is also the site of many communications towers.
Konsmo suggested the city investigate the possibility of creating a regional park for hikers and cyclists to promote eco-tourism.
“I think there is probably a diverse group of people who would have something to say about this,” said Konsmo.
“The group who use the are the most are hikers and bicycles. People in this town like to go up there.”
Staff will report back in the future on options to keep people from dumping on Wantage Road.