Most people know it is not okay to litter and would feel guilty about leaving a piece of garbage on the ground.
Others, however, seem to think the world is their junkyard and have no qualms about dumping motor homes, mattresses, fridges, sofas, and piles of drywall on public property.
The eyesores created by illegal dumping not only cost thousands of taxpayers' dollars to clean up, but they can be dangerous.
Langley Township officials are looking for help in protecting the community from the costs and the dangers of illegal dumping.
Each year more than 100 tonnes of illegally dumped garbage is retrieved by Township staff, resulting in more than 500 trips to the dump.
Each trip requires two crew members to lift and move the bulky objects. It translates into thousands of hours of staff time and more than $10,000 in tipping fees at the transfer station each year.
To help ensure large items and hazardous goods are disposed of properly, and to hold those dumping them responsible, residents are being asked to keep their eyes and ears open and report anything suspicious.
"People need to be aware that this is costing them money," said Bill Storie, the Township's bylaws manager. "These are their tax dollars that go into cleaning these things up. Every dollar spent on items that are not properly disposed of is a dollar taken from elsewhere in the system."
Storie encourages witnesses to get license plate numbers and a vehicle descriptions, and to contact the Township's bylaw office at 604-532-7551 during the day, or the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 after hours.
"If you see an offender, take down their information and report it," he said.
This past summer, a tent trailer and a boat were abandoned in two separate incidents. It took Township money employee time to pick up them up and dispose of them properly.
"It's definitely adding up," said Township engineer Greg Mayer, adding, "There are other costly spins-offs, too, when crews are required to put in cement barriers or secure fencing to deter people from dumping in places such as right-of-ways and trails."
Many illegally dumped items left on roadsides, in ditches, and at dead end streets also pose health and safety issues for the Township staff who have to haul them away, noted Township safety advisor Sandra Ciparis.
People who have boats, trailers, and other unusable vehicles to dispose of can bring them to a metal or auto recycler, while mattresses are accepted at Recyc-Mattresses in Gloucester Industrial Estates for $15.
"There is a cost involved, but people have to be responsible, otherwise taxpayers foot the burden," Storie said. "We need people to be more diligent."
Langley-based New West Gypsum Recycling Inc. accepts tested, asbestos-free drywall at its New Westminster plant at 38 Vulcan Street.
Township residents looking to get rid of potentially harmful household items are encouraged to bring them to this year's Household Hazardous Waste Plus Recycling Drop-Off Event - which will also accept small appliances and electronics - on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Township's operations centre, 4700 224th St.
The drop-off is free to Township residents. Proof of residency is required. The items collected at the drop-off, such as batteries, chemicals, florescent lights, herbicides, motor oil, paint thinner, empty propane tanks, and turpentine, will be disposed of properly.
Visit tol.ca/hhw for more details.
@ Copyright 2013