Myths About Illegal Dumping

It saves money to dump illegally.

When the time and fuel needed to commit illegal dumping is considered, along with the possible fines, it is much more expensive to dump illegally than to dispose of the waste at a recycling facility. Illegal dumping also costs taxpayers because it is expensive to investigate, clean-up and dispose of abandoned waste. Ironically, many of the items found at illegal dump sites can be recycled for free at recycling centres.

Dumping yard waste isn’t a big deal – it’s compostable.

When grass trimmings and other yard material are dumped on road sides and in green spaces, they can have serious impacts on the surrounding environment. If invasive plant species are in the mix, such as Scotch Broom and English Ivy, these plants spread to new areas and cause long lasting environmental damage. If yard waste is washed into waterways, it reduces the amount of oxygen available for aquatic life and harms fish species.

Often, illegal dump sites start with ‘harmless’ material, such as organic waste, being dumped first. This attracts other illegal dumping and can lead to chronic dumping in an area.

Going to the Recycling Centre is inconvenient.

Residents who live in the CVRD are fortunate to have access to a number of private and public recycling facilities with knowledgeable, helpful staff. Learn more about these facilities.

Illegal dumping isn't a big deal.

There are many harmful impacts of illegal dumping:

Environmental Impacts

  • Clogs waterways and damages habitat for fish
  • Attracts wildlife, such as bears, which often have to be killed when habituated to discarded food
  • Spreads invasive plant species (i.e. Scotch Broom and English Ivy), especially when yard and garden debris is involved
  • Smothers native vegetation

Financial Impacts

  • Cost to local government and residents for investigation, clean-up and disposal of abandoned waste
  • Expense to landowners who must pay for the material to be cleaned up on private property

Health and Safety Impacts

  • Abandoned waste often contains hazardous material, including broken glass, asbestos and chemicals from household appliances and electronics
  • Rainwater coming in contact with waste spreads contamination to surface water and groundwater, water which we rely on for drinking

Social Impacts

  • Damages to community pride and frustration of neighbors nearby abandoned waste sites
  • Property values can decline near chronic dump sites
Impacts - paint
Impacts - Invasive
Impacts of illegal dumping include surface and groundwater contamination from household toxins, such as paint (left) and spreading invasive plant species, such as English Ivy (right)