End of Commercial Garbage Pick Up , Up in the Air
Prince George, B.C.- The issue of cancelling garbage pick up from commercial customers has struck a chord with several members of City Council.
The Solid Waste department had made the decision to cancel the commercial pick up saying it takes a long time and staff have to cover great distances to get the job done. In addition, Manager Sean LeBrun told Council there has been “An increase in illegal dumping, increase in needle collection, it’s taxing.”
So, in effort to keep up with the extra pressures, Solid Waste made the decision to cancel commercial pick up so staff who normally provide those services can be redirected to deal with illegal dumping and hypodermic needle pick up.
Councillor Frank Everitt called for the matter to go back to staff for further information and called for more enforcement. Brian Skakun says picking up illegally dumped garbage makes it seem “OK” he, along with Councillor Terri McConnachie echoed the call for more enforcement. Skakun also suggested the “Needle Exchange” is a misnomer as thousands of needles are not “exchanged” and pose a risk to the public. He suggested the City call on Northern Health to help cover the costs of picking up the used needles.
“We can shame the people who do illegal dumping till the cows come home, but it’s not going to change their behaviour” said Councillor Jillian Merrick.
There are a number of private contractors who can service the commercial customers who were scheduled to have their last pick up on Sept. 2nd, but the move to cancel pick up is on hold until the matter has been reviewed by Staff to see how the issue might best be addressed.
Councillor Everitt added illegal dumping is not just a Prince George problem, “It’s a problem in every community” he also supported having more conversation around how best to deal with discarded needles.
Mayor Lyn Hall “We have a problem we need to address”. He suggested the matter also be discussed with Regional District because of the impacts of litter from vehicles heading to the Foothills Landfill.