Little recourse for property owners dealing with illegal dumping
Cheryl Gardiner has seen some sickening things in the trash, everything from deceased animals to used condoms.
But it’s not her trash. It’s the trash dumped on the side of the road along the gravel road where she lives, just northeast of London’s city limits.
Gardiner says Ten Mile Road, near her home, is the sight of illegal dumping at least once a week.
The latest dumping occurred Saturday afternoon and fed u, with cleaning up, she took action.
She posted to Facebook, the name and address of a person she found on personal papers inside the heap of at least 15 bags and various other junk items.
“I wanted to call him out, and if he didn't dump it, I'm sure he'd like to know who did, and come out and get it," she explains.
The posting brought about a mixed reaction.
Some supported Gardiner’s plight, saying they too have had trash dumped illegally, near or on, their properties, but other were critical, saying she shouldn’t name someone she can’t prove dumped the trash.
But she’s unapologetic, arguing she’s out of options as the dumping continues.
“We're sick of it! Sick of dealing with everyone else's garbage. We deal with ours, we don't want to deal with someone else's."
Municipal officials in both Middlesex Centre, where Gardiner lives, and in London advise against taking independent action for legal and safety reasons.
“We don't know what's in that garbage. It's best to just call authorities,” says Orest Katolyk, who manages bylaw officers in London.
However, he admits getting dumpers convicted in court is difficult, with video or photographic evidence needed, while a licence plate or a paper with a name on it won’t bring about a conviction.
Gardiner’s not thrilled with that answer, “Wow, so they're getting away with it. Well, we have had people come out and clean it up after we have caught them, so I guess we'll just keep doing it that way."
Fines for dumping typically are a few hundred dollars, but can reach into the thousands.