Port Alberni’s current bylaws are not effective in dealing with illegal dumping, city planner Scott Smith told city council during their May 25 meeting.
While the city’s property maintenance bylaw does have some general language in it for depositing refuge on private property or on public space, Smith said, “it isn’t that clear and the property maintenance bylaw isn’t really in a good place for the general public to go look for it.”
Although Smith recommended a new bylaw with new fines, he said more education was key to making it effective.
“[A new bylaw] doesn’t address the challenges that we have in trying to catch people that dump.”
“I’d like to focus on public education and put a package together on the negative impacts of dumping and what are the options that we have in the Valley to dispose of garbage?”
Smith also hopes that information on what the public should do when they witness illegal dumping will help with enforcement.
“What information is important to take down when confronting that offender that they could then provide to us.”
Coun. Denis Sauve expressed concern that city staff would be wasting their time preparing the educational materials.
“I’m just worried that we’re going to be spending money and staff time preparing packages when it’s obviously illegal to dump and litter.”
Mayor Mike Ruttan disagreed.
“It’s never a waste when you educate people about changing their behaviour to a way that’s more socially acceptable.”