Trash an issue next to Columbus Drive to Valley Road off-ramp in Carbonear

Melissa Jenkins
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This is some of the trash that has been building up in Carbonear next to Valley Road, near the Columbus Drive overpass.

A municipality in Conception Bay North that has recently received several awards for its cleanliness and beautification is facing a trash problem in a high traffic area.

The Town of Carbonear has prided itself on receiving Tidy Towns awards, most recently for two consecutive years, 2012 and 2013.

But on one section of Valley Road, used mainly for vehicle parking for Long Harbour and Bull Arm workers who carpool, stray garbage has begun to pile up.

Residents have said the area has also been used by Lynch’s Trucking Enterprises, the town’s contracted garbage collection company, as a mini-transfer station for garbage and recyclables during the town’s collection twice a week.

The area is beside the off-ramp from Columbus Drive, and in immediate view of anyone travelling west towards the town’s recreation complex and schools.

Piling up

In recent weeks, as the temperatures have increased, so has the amount of trash.

Plastic bags, cans, coffee cups and other garbage are visible on the left hand side when driving down the off-ramp from Columbus Drive. The mess can be seen by students and parents travelling to and from Carbonear Collegiate and Carbonear Academy.

Many come from out of town to swim, play sports and walk the town's rubberized track, but they have to travel past the trash to get there.

The Compass was contacted this past weekend by two neighbouring residents, who were "disgusted" with the mess and wanted to see something done.

Both explained the trash wasn’t from pedestrians or those tossing coffee cups out their car windows. Rather, they believe it’s coming from the garbage collectors, remnants that birds and wild anmals left behind after tearing open unattended bags.

Carbonear has its regular garbage collection twice a week, half the town on Monday and the rest on Friday. Every second week, recyclables are also collected.

During those days, locals explained it is not uncommon to see a garbage collection truck parked in the area where the trash is located. Bags of recyclables have also been seen piled up there during recycling weeks.

Deputy Mayor Frank Butt confirmed he noticed the garbage while driving through town. He passed by it yesterday (June 1) while heading to an event at Carbonear Collegiate.

“I took a picture and sent it to council and staff requesting a work order be issued to have it investigated and cleaned up,” Butt told The Compass today (June 2).

A staff member at the town office also received a complaint earlier today from a resident about the trash.

There is a concern some locals may have been sorting through unattended garbage in the area looking for cans and bottles. That has not been confirmed.

Carbonear Mayor George Butt Jr. spoke briefly with The Compass this morning, but was out of town when the complaints had been made and was unaware of the situation. He confirmed he would immediately contact the appropriate department to have the garbage issue investigated and taken care of “right away.”

If the cause is determined to be from the garbage trucks, Butt Jr. explained, the town will hold the collectors responsible for clean up. If not, they will do what's necessary.

The deputy mayor agreed.

“At the end of the day, it is a mess and it has to be cleaned up immediately,” he said.

The investigation has not yet been completed, and the source of the trash has not been verified.

Messages left for Lynch’s Trucking Enterprises this morning were not returned.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc

Organizations: The Compass, Carbonear Collegiate and Carbonear Academy

Geographic location: Carbonear, Valley Road, Long Harbour

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  • John Fowler
    June 02, 2014 - 21:14

    I am a former resident of Hr. Grace now living in St. John's. I noticed in my neighborhood garbage was also an issue. Every week i'd drive along the 3 streets and 2 cul de sacs that makes up my neighborhood and see more and more trash on the streets and sidewalks as the snow melted this spring. I kept saying why doesn't someone do something about it? Where is the city counsel. Then I thought, why don't I do something about it. So i bought some bags and a garbage picker and got to work. My first day I filled 3 bags. Instead of writing your comments on facebook and sharing your indignation for the people making the mess, take a garbage bag and go for a walk and fill it. If every citizen filled one bag there wouldn't be any more garbage on our streets in any community. If you really have pride in your community get to work and do something about it. The counselors aren't making the mess YOU are!

  • Jerry
    June 02, 2014 - 19:29

    Why is it that the residents have to alert the elected officials of conditions and problems around the town ? You think this would have been noticed and cleaned up by one of the outside workers driving around in town vehicles..How long would it take anyway ?..An area the size of a large yard...O right i forgot..they are too busy driving around in town vehicles...now i understand..gees