If you are one of those who use trails and parks across the Peel Region, you may likely have noticed overflowing garbage bins in certain areas. In summertime when there are more residents visiting parks especially on weekends, one can expect to see overflowing bins filled with paper cups and bottles which is not a pleasant sight but understandable. But what is unacceptable is when all year round garbage bins are being misused by people who fill park bins with their excess household garbage. While some residents take their household pets to the park, many more residents are taking their household garbage to the park and leaving it there!
This has been going on in many wards across Peel Region, but most councillors and residents are inclined to turn a blind eye, but not Mississauga councillor for Ward 10 Sue McFadden who is on a mission to stop this very uncivic behavior.
Like a forensic scientist, she has started going through the odd plastic bag containing someone’s household garbage looking for clues that would lead her to household and then dump it at their front door and slap them with a fine.
Residents in Peel Region who complain about overflowing garbage cans in parks need to realise that it is not the city that is slipping in its duty but residents who are misusing these bins.
Garbage bins in parks are meant for small items and certainly not household waste.
So why has the problem become so acute in recent years? Some say this has to do with the changes in garbage pickup. In January 2016, Peel Region changed its garbage pick up to a 2 weeks rotation. One week recycle only, next week garbage only. In the meantime, more homeowners than ever before are renting out their basements. Others have multiple families living in a single unit and the amount of garbage generated by so many people in a single home means that the extra garbage is ending up in public garbage bins across the region.
This is fast becoming a serious problem and could potentially become a health hazard requiring more serious intervention.
Throwing money at the problem is not going to solve it. It is already costing cities thousands of dollars more to clean up household garbage from public areas every year.
To solve this problem cities will have to be more creative. There are thousands upon thousands of homes in the Peel Region that have secondary units, yet just a fraction of these basement apartments is registered. While these homeowners get to enjoy their supplementary rental income, the city has to provide services but don’t get their fair share of property tax. This is a thorny issue with political ramifications that needs to be addressed at some time.
Many new immigrants and international students who don’t have their own transportation have no choice but to dump their garbage in the first available garbage can they see in a public area if their own garbage cans wherever they live are overflowing.
In the meantime, it may actually be cheaper to let residents wanting to dispose small quantities of household garbage use recycling centres for free. Currently there is a $5 minimum fee residents pay. By waiving the $5, a larger number of residents may be encouraged to drop off their garbage at a legally designated place rather than taking it to their neighbourhood park. -CINEWS