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County, city both seeing an increase in illegal dumping

With nowhere to drop off large items, people are dumping garbage in public places rather than hold onto it for the time being
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Garbage is dumped at the end of a dead-end street in Centre Wellington on the weekend. OPP photo

Illegal dumping, everything from yard waste to couches, is on the increase in both the City of Guelph and Wellington County.

With public waste drop off at municipal facilities on hold because of COVID-19, some people are just dumping things on public property.

Everything from furniture to bags of garbage is being left at the side of roads, in parks and on dead end streets throughout Wellington County, said OPP Const. Cheri Rockefeller.

"The officers are reporting they are definitely seeing an increase in calls about people dumping," Rockefeller said.

"People obviously in isolation doing spring cleaning and then dumping things. They can leave it on their own property in their garage until donation places and the dump open back up."

She said if anyone witnesses someone illegally dumping things they can get a licence plate of the vehicle and report it to police.

It's also happening in the city.

"We have seen more garbage and large items being dumped around our city, particularly at Guelph Transit bus stops, charity donation bins, parks and natural areas," said city communications specialist Stacey Hare.

Dumping garbage is illegal and carries a fine of $150 to $250 in the City of Guelph, she said.

People can visit the City’s website to report a spot that should be cleaned up. If people know who is doing it, they can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Bylaw officers can also take the information.

"We’re hoping that restoring Guelph’s large item pickup service will help improve the situation. People can call the City’s waste department at 519-767-0598 to purchase a large item pickup or an extra grey cart pickup for $35," Hare said.

She said people should hold on to household items and clothing until the Waste Innovation Resource Centre reopens and donation bins resume collection.

"We’ll announce May dates for yard waste collection soon. We ask people to hold onto their yard waste until then. They can top up green carts with yard waste (except grass clippings) and mulch leaves and grass clippings and leave them on lawns."