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HRM looking to crack down on illegal dumping in North Preston with surveillance system

HRM looking to crack down on illegal dumping
Illegal dumping is a major problem along a stretch of road that connects North and East Preston

Illegal dumping along Upper Governor Street in North Preston is not just an eye-sore, but it’s dangerous said city councillor David Hendsbee.

It’s a growing problem along the section of a roadway that connects North and East Preston, with the Halifax Regional Municipality planning to crack down on the issue by installing surveillance cameras.

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“It’s a major problem…on a scale of 1 to 10, it’s an 11,” said Hendsbee, who represents Preston, Chezzetcook and the Eastern Shore. “Illegal dumping is everywhere it’s just atrocious.”

Debris has been piling up along the roadway for years said Cathy Diggs, who drives down Upper Governor Street on her way to work each day and what she sees lined along the street makes her angry and disgusted.

“There’s TV’s, cans, couches, and beds,” said Diggs. “It’s very disrespectful to the people that live in the community. We shouldn’t have to drive through and look at other peoples’ garbage on the side of the roads.”

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For the past three days, Hendsbee said a crew of waste collectors hired by the municipality has been on-site, cleaning up the section of the roadway.

“We had a pile of 60 tires already taken for tire recycling yesterday,” said Hendsbee.

“You see some electronics and metal that’s being source-separated for other disposal and a lot of this is just regular household garbage that could be put out on the edge of the roadside for regular cleanup, there’s just no need for this to occur,” he added.

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Despite all the signage along the roadway warning against illegal dumping, the road and its ditches are still being used as an illegal dump and it’s a major burden on the municipality said Hendsbee.

He also went on to day that it’s a major burden on the municipality, and he estimates the clean up will cost HRM more than $6,000.

In the meantime, Hendsbee said the municipality is looking to set up surveillance cameras with the aim of scrapping the roadside dumping.

“We’re going to be stepping up surveillance and installing some cameras in the next little while to try and catch some of these culprits,” he said.

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That’s good news for Diggs, as she doesn’t want to see any more trash scoured along the roadways on her commute.

“It has to stop,” she said. “We’re not going to tolerate it anymore.”

Fines for illegal dumping can range from $250 to $2,000 and if anyone witnesses illegal dumping they’re asked to report it to the department of natural resources.