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Surrey residents trash city over ‘worsening’ illegal dump sites

Call made to crackdown on illegal dumping in parts of North Surrey
Call made to crackdown on illegal dumping in parts of North Surrey

Toilets, mattresses, old filing cabinets and used syringes: it’s not the kind of debris Wes Jones wants to see lying around his neighbourhood.

Jones and members of the community advocacy group ACORN are calling on the City of Surrey to crack down on illegal dumping, showing one such site — laden with the aforementioned garbage — on Friday.

Read more: Surrey counters illegal dumping problem with free junk drop-off events

“It’s damage to the environment, it’s damage to the wildlife,” said Jones.

“With wildlife and with kids and everything around, if they come in here with needles and everything on the ground, then they could get hurt.”

Jones said the problem has been escalating over the last several months.

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In a statement to Global News, the city said it is working to cut down on illegal dumping, saying it’s managed to reduce incidences by 30 per cent in the last four years.

Illegal dumping solutions in Surrey
Illegal dumping solutions in Surrey

The city points to free large item pickups and pop-up junk events where people can get rid of large items.

It says it also supports community cleanup events, 32 of which it says have taken place since May.

After being contacted by Global News, the city dispatched a crew to the trash pile 97A Avenue and 137B Street, saying it would monitor the area.

READ MORE: Vancouver has a $2M illegal dumping problem, and it’s only getting worse

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“This is a bigger issue than just a dumping site. You can point to any number of sites that are like this in Surrey,” said ACORN member Bryn Smith.

Smyth argued that community cleanups are all well and good, but that the city needs to “put their money where their mouth is” when it comes to policing illegal dump sites.

“Hire some people who are trained and able to help clean this up safely,” he said.