BLC getting tough on litterbugs

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County is ready to impose heavy fines on people who dump garbage on county lands outside designated areas.

At its meeting May 26, council added littering and increased fines for dumping in the County’s public order bylaw.

Offenders face a $500 fine for the first offence. Repeat offenders face further fines of $1,000 for the second offence and $5,000 for the third and subsequent offences.

Director of community and protective services, Brett Hawken, recommended a fine of $750 for the second offence and $1,000 for the third offence.

Reeve Ken Matthews has a warning for anyone who considers littering on county property.

“If you’re already fined $500 and you do it again, you’re pretty stupid,” Matthews says.

Hawken says littering in the county has been a growing concern in recent months.

“It’s just a deterrent that people shouldn’t dump garbage on county property,” Hawken says.

He notes that staff believe just a few people are dumping trash.

“Administration updated the bylaw to include littering,” Hawken says.

“The increase in fee was a recommendation made by our local peace officers who recently have had a handful of garbage dumps throughout the county and is hoping this may deter future dumps from happening.”

Before council increased the fines, the fine was $250 as peace officers gave a ticket under the Environmental Protection Act section 178 for improper disposal of waste on public land, he notes.

Fines are in line with the Municipal District of Peace near Peace River and the City of Calgary, Hawken says.

County council and residents have been concerned in the past few months about the growing numbers of incidents since the Enilda transfer station closed in January.

The bylaw adds and defines littering.

No person shall deposit or cause to be deposited or permit to be deposited any litter on any highway or land within the municipality, which is owned by or under the direction, control of and management of the municipality unless it is disposed of in an approved waste receptacle, at a waste management facility or site operated by the municipality.

No person shall allow litter to blow from a property or vehicle onto any highway or land which is owned by or under the direction, control and management of the municipality.

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