garbage – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca News, entertainment and sports from Langara College journalism students Mon, 29 Mar 2021 02:09:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://www.langaravoice.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/LOGO-100x100.png garbage – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca 32 32 East Vancouver neighbourhood ‘drowning’ in takeout garbage https://www.langaravoice.ca/east-vancouver-neighbourhood-drowning-in-takeout-garbage/ Thu, 25 Mar 2021 01:06:43 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=48564 By Emily Lyth Every day, David Faber cleans up the litter that has accumulated on his front lawn on Victoria Drive with a bucket and trash picker in hand. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, trash from local businesses has been increasingly ending up on the lawns, streets and alleyways of the Victoria-Fraserview neighbourhood. Faber has […]]]>

By Emily Lyth

Every day, David Faber cleans up the litter that has accumulated on his front lawn on Victoria Drive with a bucket and trash picker in hand.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, trash from local businesses has been increasingly ending up on the lawns, streets and alleyways of the Victoria-Fraserview neighbourhood.

Faber has lived in the neighbourhood since 2011 and said that the trash problem is getting worse.

259 million takeout containers were disposed of in 2020

“We’ve seen a real increase, especially over the last year, in the amount of street garbage in our neighbourhood,” Faber said.

A recent waste composition study surveying disposal facilities in the Metro Vancouver Regional District revealed that an estimated 259 million takeout containers were disposed of in 2020, compared to 179 million in 2018. Containers left on the streets remained unaccounted for in those estimates.

According to Faber, the proximity of the McDonald’s, Starbucks and Tim Hortons at the intersection of East 41st Avenue and Victoria Drive has increased the amount of takeout waste found in the neighbourhood.

“I think they’re ashamed,” said Faber, who sent letters to all three businesses demanding accountability. He has yet to receive a response.

A manager at the Tim Hortons, which opened in 2020, said that while building staff clean the restaurant’s exterior on a regular basis, Tim Hortons employees only do so if business is slow.

Managers at the neighbouring McDonald’s and Starbucks said that their employees are required to clean up litter on their company’s property, but any garbage found on the surrounding streets is not their responsibility.

Tim Blunt, a lifelong South Vancouver resident, said that people are also discarding large pieces of furniture and debris in the alleyways over the past few years.

“It’s just a daily mess of people dumping garbage bags, and construction stuff, and more mattresses,” said Blunt. “It’s disheartening for me, I guess, because it shows a lack of pride in the community.”

‘Disposal does come at a cost to the city’

Vancouver city councillor Pete Fry said that the disposal fees for mattresses lead to their illegal dumping.

“It does take a delicate balance, because obviously disposal does come at a cost to the city,” said Fry. “The real barrier is a lack of convenient places to dispose of things.”

Monique Koningstein, executive director of the Victoria Drive Business Improvement Association, said that garbage cans are “crucial” to have near takeout businesses.

Prior to the pandemic, the Victoria Drive BIA employed Coast Mental Health Foundation workers to clean the area five days a week.

The foundation has had to cease all clean-up operations during the pandemic due to safety concerns.

Koningstein said the Victoria Drive BIA is negotiating a new contract with the foundation. In the meantime, the area’s cleanliness depends on weekly litter collection service provided by the City of Vancouver.

“That’s why we’re still seeing a lot of garbage on the street,” said Koningstein. “But as far as businesses and their responsibility, that’s something we feel they have to deal with themselves.”

Faber said placing a garbage can next to the bus stop in front of his home would encourage people not to litter.

“If people don’t deal with it now, we’re going to drown in our own garbage,” said Faber.

Video by Emily Lyth below…

 

 

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Coquitlam launches annual ‘bear smart’ campaign https://www.langaravoice.ca/coquitlam-launches-annual-bear-smart-campaign/ https://www.langaravoice.ca/coquitlam-launches-annual-bear-smart-campaign/#comments Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:02:24 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=28034 Coquitlam has begun its annual campaign to remind its residents to be “bear smart” because bears will soon wake up from hibernation and wander through neighbourhoods in search of food.]]>

Reported by Michele Paulse

Coquitlam has begun its annual campaign to remind its residents to be “bear smart” because bears will soon wake up from hibernation and wander through neighbourhoods in search of food.

Provided by the City of Coquitlam

The city’s campaign, which will include social media, advertising and door-to-door canvassing, has operated for 10 years. But many residents still disobey bylaws that prohibit garbage cans and green waste bins from being placed on the street the night before designated days for pickup.

“Garbage is the number one attractant,” said Craig Hodge, a Coquitlam city councillor. “I think we’ve made good progress through education and enforcement but there’s no question that more needs to be done.”

Fines and warnings already in place

Coquitlam made changes to its garbage collection and increased enforcement of it solid waste bylaw. Residents are fined $500 if they feed bears, and that includes when a bear knocks over a garbage can and eats the waste. The city issued 1,643 warnings and 315 tickets in 2016.

David Karn, a Ministry of Environment conservation officer, said officers work with the city to manage bears in neighbourhoods, including setting traps to relocate bears. City statistics for 2016 show conservation officers received 1,927 calls, almost double the 973 received in 2015. Officers shot 15 bears last year, a higher number than usual, according to a report presented to council last February.

Attack increased concerns

The number of calls to conservation officers increased after a bear attacked a young girl last August in Port Coquitlam, near the Coquitlam River. Karn said city bears typically cross boundaries of the Tri-Cities, which includes Port Moody.

“There was a girl who was attacked by a bear in the Tri-Cities last year so that brought a lot of awareness to the bear in the area,” said Julie Kanya, Coquitlam’s urban wildlife coordinator.

Urban sprawl encounters wildlife

Coquitlam is a growing urban area. On Westwood Plateau and on Burke Mountain, new development is replacing forests, leaving bears more visible. Part of the city’s “bear smart” campaign includes educating new residents about bears.

“I think our biggest challenge isn’t so much that we’re displacing the bears,” Hodge said. “It’s that we’re drawing the bears into our neighbourhoods and that’s why we’re working so heavily to deal with bear attractants, garbage and so on.”

“We brought in a number of initiatives over the last couple of years to try to reduce human and wildlife conflict,” Hodge said.

 

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