LETTER: Offended by Surrey garbage ‘offence’

How would you feel if you got a violation notice for something you didn't do? This reader takes issue with Surrey's garbage system.

A Surrey resident is peeved after receiving a warning about a garbage violation — that he says wasn't his.

The Editor,

My wife and I have received a “contamination notice with our blue recycling cart. The “offence” circled was “No Garbage or Organics.”

We are also advised that the City of Surrey will be monitoring this issue.

For the record, we support the program to separate garbage and we take pains to put the correct garbage in the proper carts.

However, this is a threat that non-compliance will result in no future service for our cart.

See also: Surrey looks to curb illegal dumping with ‘Pop-Up Junk Drop’

We have a serious problem with this draconian approach, as no attempt has been made to determine ownership of this “contaminated” garbage.

If this were our garbage, a subtle reminder would send us back to the instructions/regulations/laws that specify what we are to do with our garbage.

However, the problem is that the city worker has assumed the homeowner “owns” the offending garbage when, in point of fact, we do not! The carts are unlocked and open to such abuse.

It is my observation that other people often throw their garbage into other people’s carts, especially since we two retired seniors do not fill our carts to overflowing.

I can only assume the people who add to our garbage live in someone’s illegal suite, otherwise the city would have provided them with garbage carts. Perhaps the homeowners are refusing to purchase additional carts.

I suspect that this is quite a big problem in Surrey, coupled with the situation of people dumping garbage and items of furniture on vacant property and even on building sites.

So the question is: What are you going to do about this criminal activity?

I can assure you that I will not be standing outside for three or four hours every Tuesday morning guarding our garbage carts. In fact, what can I do if someone uses our garbage cart for his/her “contamination” garbage, other than to politely ask them not to, as I have no authority to do anything.

Accordingly, should I happen to inspect our garbage carts and discover that someone else’s garbage is in our containers, what should I do?

I do not want to touch loose “contaminating” garbage, nor “contaminating” bag(s) since I have no idea what is in them. Should I phone hazardous waste? Should I remove the offending bag as the truck approaches? What do I then do with this garbage? Will you come and collect it?

John M. Savage, Surrey

 

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