BRUCE BUMSTEAD / BRANDON SUN
An assortment of items fill on of the recycling containers at the 34th Street and Victoria Avenue depot on Wednesday.
For those wishing to use the City of Brandon’s recycling depots, the city issued a friendly reminder on Wednesday that couches, desks and trees are not considered recyclable waste.
A large pile of tree branches and tree clippings were left in at the 34th Street and Victoria Avenue recycling depot, next to a sign informing the public how to properly dispose of this material, on Wednesday afternoon. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD / BRANDON SUN)
The reminder came after a photo taken by a citizen showed that someone had disposed of an end table, a desk, a sofa chair and other household goods at the 34th Street and Victoria Avenue depot against the city’s bylaw.
"When I get residents of the ward sending me photos — and this isn’t the first time I’ve been made aware of this happening — the sign is right there as to what’s allowed and what isn’t allowed under city bylaws," said Coun. Shawn Berry (Linden Lanes).
"Yet people feel it’s fine to dump unwanted furniture and household appliances there and the city has to come by and clean up with manual labour and haul it to the dump. We are using city resources for something we shouldn’t be doing."
The problem is particularly baffling, when for $5 per item, citizens can go to city hall, get a receipt and arrange for city staff to haul items to the landfill site for you, city operations general manager Rod Sage said.
And for those who had been inappropriately dropping off unwanted furnishings, Sage noted if they managed to get them on a trailer or truck, they can drop it off at the city landfill themselves for free, provided the items don’t weigh more than 500 kilograms.
"If you have a sofa at a recycling depot, which is obviously not a recyclable item, it didn’t just get there by itself," Sage said. "Someone had to load it in something to get it there unless they walked it there. If they are from Brandon and someone loaded it there is no cost to dispose of it."
The city has also had troubles with people dropping off trees, shrubs and tree clippings at those depots, in spite of posted signs stating those items should also go to the landfill, Sage said.
Sage said citizens have called in the illegal dumping actions to the Brandon Police Service and bylaw enforcement staff can fine offenders when they are caught.
"That is considered littering," Sage said. "Dropping off garbage in an area not defined for that purpose, or outside of containers is littering," Sage said. "Those are not depots where you can drop off whatever you want."
While there have been problems at various city recycling depots over the years, there is a place for them in the city’s recycling program and they are sometimes in sheltered locations away from residential areas. They are also intended to be in areas where they will be used.
"That one (34th St. and Victoria Ave.) is one of our most-used by residents and you don’t want it out in the open because it is refuse," Sage said. "That one is in a green space, tucked away and isn’t an eyesore for residents. We had one at the Sportsplex in the parking lot for years and user groups and residents didn’t like it because they saw the garbage or bins."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 26, 2012