People line up early to drop off junk for free at ‘Pop-Up’ Surrey site

How do you get Surreyites out of the house early? Tell them where to get rid of all their unwanted junk – for free.

John Schneider

SURREY — How do you get Surreyites out of the house early on a Saturday morning? Tell them you know a place where they can get rid of all their unwanted junk – for free.

And so it was on a recent Saturday as the City of Surrey held its fourth “Pop-Up Junk Drop” at the Surrey Operations Centre yard in the 6500-block of 148th Street.

Although the event was set to start at 10 a.m., the lineup just to get in the yard stretched south down the hill to 64th Avenue, and north up the hill to 68th Avenue, or beyond, by 9:30 a.m.

Rob Costanzo (pictured) stood in the yard among the trailers, bins, excavators and scores of engineers working the event as the gates officially opened.

He looked simultaneously surprised and satisfied.

Costanzo is one of the drivers of this whole “junk drop” concept. He’s Surrey’s manager of engineering operations and he likes what he sees – because it’s far preferable to the alternative.

“These events are really being hosted to tackle the illegal dumping we have in the city,” he said. “Our costs have escalated significantly in the last 10 years. In 2005, we were at $500,000 (to clean up illegal dumping). We’re now upwards of a million dollars.”

Costanzo (pictured) points to two main factors for the increase.

“Number one: The cost of disposal is very high. Ten years ago, it was $65 a ton, today it’s over $130 a ton at a regional transfer station,” he said. “And there’s the convenience factor. We have just one transfer station in the City of Surrey, which is located at the top northeast corner of the city.”

The Pop-Up Junk Drop events are so popular that Costanzo and crew were forced to double available space after the first installment. Though they thought they’d see 500 to 700 vehicles at the first event, 2,000 showed up.

Costanzo said more than 260 tons of material was collected from about 3,300 vehicles in the first two events. And he says they “diverted just over 70 per cent of materials collected” and “hauled away over 30 loads of reusable material.”

John Schneider was among the many people who didn’t own a vehicle big enough for his junk. He rented a U-Haul trailer and hoped he’d get back for a second round.

“I have metal here, plastic, cardboard, furniture – a whole variety. My son has been after me to clean the house and get ready for moving. They want us to move closer to them. My wife has cancer, so we’re not sure what the situation will be.”

Danny Pereira was nearby, looking quite comfortable aboard his excavator. He normally uses the machine to “fix sewer systems” and “dig underground,” but today Pereira was busy scooping unsalvageable garbage from the pavement and dropping it into a very large bin.

It’s a relatively easy job, to be sure, though Pereira says the junk drop at least gives him a chance to “smash everything… that’s kind of fun.”

The next Pop-Up Junk Drop event is set for Saturday, Sept 17 and the final event is on Oct. 1 at Surrey Operations Centre, 6549 148th St. Click here for more information.

gordgoble@gmail.com

 

Just Posted

Syrian family can, finally, feel safe

Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity White Rock meets sponsored family for the first time

Former Surrey MP Gurmant Grewal supports Bernier’s new party

Gurmant Grewal has thrown his lot in with Maxime Bernier’s new People’s Party of Canada

Road closures as Surrey firefighters battle propane blaze

Surrey RCMP control traffic as firefighers fight fire at Pacific Propane Container Recycling

Cloverdale, Langley Thanksgiving food drive collects ‘record-breaking’ amount of food

Annual food drive collected 35,000 lbs of food for Langley Food Bank

Proposal seeks to replace Surrey Knight & Day with 25-storey highrise

Surrey council is set to consider the application for the first time tonight, submitted on behalf of Square Nine King George Development

‘Fire tornado’ erupts as firefighters battle interior B.C. wildfire

Firefighters near Vanderhoof were taken by surprise

Abdelrazik torture lawsuit delay would be unconscionable: lawyer

The federal government is making a last-minute plea to delay the Federal Court hearing

Trudeau upset after meeting with Saskatchewan chiefs

Trudeau is upset about how time was managed in a recent meeting

Woman from Surrey killed in head-on collision in Chilliwack Saturday

Witnesses in the vehicle struck told first responders the woman appeared to be asleep at the wheel

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Filipino-Canadians concerned about family after typhoon hits Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut has killed 66 people in the Philippines and four in China

Ottawa looks at having retired judge help guide renewed pipeline review process

The feds would only says that ‘multiple options were on the table’

Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Trans fats are know to cause heart disease

Yukon suspect in B.C. mail bombing makes court appearance

Whitehorse man Leon Nepper faces charges related to a mail bomb sent to a Port Alice home Sept. 11

Most Read