People who illegally dump waste in Langley aren’t ‘idiots.’ Most are low-income individuals left with no other choice, according to a local realtor.
A new marketing campaign from the Township of Langley meant to discourage people from dumping garbage on roadsides — “Don’t be an #IDIOT (Illegal Dumper in our Township)” — is unfair and misses the mark, said Barb Carlson, a Langley resident and real estate agent specializing in farm properties for 30 years.
Carlson said she has heard from many of her clients who have a lot of waste to dispose of when they move, that they simply can’t afford to bring it to the proper transfer station to dispose of it.
“They don’t have a choice; They have absolutely no money,” she said.
The minimum fee to dump at the Metro Vancouver-run Langley Transfer Station is $15 per load. That fee can quickly add up when a family has multiple loads of garbage to dispose of when moving, said Carlson.
“The really low-income people, let them dump it (at the transfer station) for free, if you don’t want it on your roads,” she said.
The Township’s director of public works, Roeland Zwaag, said one of the “Don’t be an #IDIOT” campaign’s goals is to educate potential illegal dumpers on all the options available to them.
He said residents who pay utility fees can call the Township to pick up large items like old couches and stoves, at no extra cost.
Zwaag also said items found on the Township’s roadsides are often not garbage but recyclable items that can be disposed of for free at the transfer station.
Residents can also dispose of more hazardous items such as paint cans and motor oil at an annual Township event, said Zwaag.
“We don’t want those items ending up in our ditches and on the roads. They’re very hazardous to us,” he said.
Zwaag also said the Township will be changing over to a new solid waste pick up system in the fall or winter. It will resemble Surrey’s current system, which has large bins for organic waste picked up weekly and garbage picked up every other week.
“Even with those programs available, you will have some surplus garbage that you need to either dispose of through the regular stream of solid waste, if you’re part of the system,” said Zwaag.
“If not, yeah, you do unfortunately have to bring it to a transfer station and pay the tipping fee.”