Volunteers try to clean up Meadowgreen recycling depot after years of dumping

Volunteers with the Central Urban Métis Federation tried to clean up the Meadowgreen recycling depot, but were asked to leave by the city. Slavo Kutas / Global News

After years of people dumping garbage at the Meadowgreen recycling depot in Saskatoon, the Central Urban Métis Federation (CUMFI) volunteered to clean it up.

CUMFI president Shirley Isbister drives by the recycling depot every morning, and said she’s seen dumping getting worse and worse, especially since the pandemic began.

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She and others began cleaning the site Friday morning, but city crews asked them to leave.

Beginning Friday the depot is no longer open 24-hours and will be under video surveillance in an effort to try and stop illegal dumping, according to the city.

“What’s going to happen to all of this if there’s nowhere to take it? Is it going to end up in alleys, is it going to end up in vacant yards?” Isbister asked.

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She said she understands neighbour’s concerns about the mess, but worries limiting hours and bringing in security will mean people who can’t afford to drive to the dump will just leave their garbage somewhere else.

In an email to Global News, Dan Gauthier, the city’s manager of environmental projects and protection, wrote while the city appreciated the effort, it didn’t know CUMFI was coming.

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“Cleaning a recycling depot is different than other types of community clean-up efforts as there are hazards involved in removing waste material,” he wrote.

He said the city has its own crews to clean its facilities, and the number of people, equipment and vehicles at the facility made it challenging for city crews who came to clean the area.

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The depot is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. as of Friday, according to the city.

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