GUELPH – ‘Tis the season when the snow melts, the trees bud, the plants push through the soil as they reach for the sun, and the junk that has been dumped illegally reveals itself.
You may not see the connection between Crime Stoppers and illegal dumping, but this is another example of the type of crime the public can report while being completely anonymous.
Those who illegally dump usually do so on public property, or on secluded property they don’t own. This means someone else must clean up the garbage and dispose of it properly.
This can lead to costs for the person who is trying to rehabilitate their property.
If it is public land, you, as the taxpayer, are paying for municipal staff to clean up after someone who was too lazy to drop the items at a landfill – or trying to avoid the costs of doing so.
There is also an environmental impact.
Many items found in illegal dumps are not safe for standard landfills and require additional measures to ensure environmental containment and public safety.
This can have long-term effects for your community, especially if the land is used for agricultural purposes, or is near a waterway.
Illegal dumping is also a way for criminals to dispose of items used in crimes.
These items could cause harm to individuals who inadvertently come across them. These items could also be important information needed to solve a case.
So, what can you do about it?
If you are in the City of Guelph or County of Wellington and you know someone who is illegal dumping, or see a vehicle parked in an area known for illegal dumping, you can provide the information to Crime Stoppers.
You will be anonymous, and your information is confidential.
Your information will be forwarded for investigation and if an arrest is made, you could qualify for a cash reward from Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington (CSGW).
Please do not call to ask us to clean up the items. That call should go to your municipality.
Remember, call 1-800-222-TIPS or go to www.csgw.tips if you have information about illegal dumping in your community!
– Sarah Bowers-Peter is program coordinator for Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington