March 21, 2018 5:26 pm
Updated: March 21, 2018 5:30 pm

Friends find illegally dumped garbage in Bowmanville, return it to rightful owner

When a couple of friends came across a pile of garbage dumped illegally on a property they care about in Bowmanville, they took the unusual step of finding its rightful owner. And as Caryn Lieberman reports, they didn't stop there.


Ron Hawkshaw chooses to live in Bowmanville because he enjoys the calm and quiet of country life.

“It’s pretty peaceful out here, it’s why we hang out and move out here so we can get away from all the garbage,” he told Global News on Wednesday, as he walked along Bethesda Road near the Stephen’s Gulch Conservation Area.

So when his friend Ron Bell called him Saturday morning to tell him of a discovery he had made while out walking his dog, Hawkshaw was disturbed, to say the least.

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“There was probably about 30 bags of garbage in this entire area here,” he recalled.

Bell posted photographs on Facebook and friends were furious too. One of them had an idea.

“Go through the garbage and see if you can find an address.”

The friends tore open the bags, some of which had already been ripped apart overnight by animals, and quickly found the evidence they had been hoping for.

Photo of the garbage dumped

Caryn Lieberman/Global News

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“We found a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency, we found phone bills and 407 receipts, so there was enough stuff in there with the same address on,” Hawkshaw said.

An hour after loading all of the bags into the back of a truck, they punched the address into Google maps and drove over to a home located in a suburban neighbourhood not far from where the garbage was dumped.

“She was super embarrassed,” Hawkshaw said about the homeowner. “She gave me quite a sideways look and said that that’s very personal information to which I responded that all the bags in my trunk are filled with personal information and I just thought she might want that back.”

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Local Clarington Councilor Ron Hooper said, “The message that the municipality has always conveyed is that if you do witness someone dumping, that you should not interact or interfere at all. Just call the Police to report, as interfering may put them at risk.”

Ron Hawkshaw said he hopes a lesson was learned.

“People drive out and feel this is their own personal dumping ground.”

But to Hawkshaw and his friend Ron Bell, it is so much more.

“This is where we do a lot of our fun activities. We hunt, we fish, we ride — this is the property we care for, so it’s the property we care about” he noted.


© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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