One bad apple can ruin the bunch, or in this case, individuals dumping garbage on Wantage Road can almost ruin one of the few remaining outdoor recreation areas in the community.
At the last city council meeting held on Oct. 9, the City of Prince Rupert decided against closing off access to Wantage Road. Considering in the past two years the community has lost access to Ridley Island and more recently the waterfront, I’m extremely happy with their decision.
But it is frustrating.
Anyone who has walked down Wantage Road knows the issue. Bags of gnarly garbage just off the roads, old couches, kitchen appliances, dirty diapers, animal carcasses left behind from hunters… need I go on?
Some have tried to lessen the damage they’re doing by burning the garbage, leaving nasty burnt remains. Guys, this doesn’t help. You’re still leaving garbage behind, and leaving it somewhat burnt isn’t any better.
Unfortunately the City isn’t in the best shape financially, so having enhanced enforcement or more patrolling in the area isn’t exactly an option.
A popular solution the City looked at was adding cameras to Wantage to monitor the road, however this would be pricey considering security cameras are expensive and would have to be on a mast to avoid vandalism.
The only solution the City could put in place at the moment was adding more signage along Wantage, providing a phone number people can call to report dumping. This is pretty disappointing considering previous signage hasn’t seem to help the issue any and in several incidences it has even been pulled down by vandals.
But what can a City struggling financially do?
It doesn’t take that much time to bring old furniture, appliances, and other items to the dump or recycling depot, and yes it costs money to do so, but it’s nothing that would be financially crippling.
If people are living in poverty and literally cannot afford to pay for dumping fees, there are always better options than ditching unwanted trash at on a commonly used recreation road, like donating large items to the free store or either of the thrift stores.
I plead to anyone considering getting rid of old trash by illegally dumping it on Wantage Road, please don’t. The City has already considered closing off the road because of this issue, and something tells me if it continues to happen they will.
We’ve already lost access to other prime spots, let’s not let Wantage Road be the next to go.