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September 10th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 35
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Council discusses garbage disposal issues in the Pass
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Garbage bin in West Blairmore.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
On September 2, council and administration were raising a stink over a host of garbage disposal issues.
It began with a discussion on an overflowing dumpster in West Blairmore but led to complaints about the excessive amount of garbage in municipal bins, an overworked Peace Officer and the few residents who insist on abusing municipal trash bylaws.
“The amount of garbage being put in all the municipal bins, be it right here at the office or at the arenas, they are full daily,” said Patrick Thomas, director of Planning Engineering and Operations. “We have nonstop dumping going on and it’s not just campers.”
Councillor Dean Ward said he received several complaints about a West Blairmore dumpster, which was overflowing with refuse after Labour Day weekend.
He suggested an extra dumpster was needed in West Blairmore on long weekends but after a lengthy discussion, council instead voted to simply remove the bin in the hopes that garbage dumpers would take their business elsewhere.
“It’s an extra service we’re trying to provide but its being abused and not necessarily by campers. It’s residents seeing bins and dumping in the middle of the day,” said Councillor Doreen Glavin.
“The bin at the Fireman’s Park was so bad I think they took it out of there because people were leaving their household garbage… Maybe the answer is to take the bin away,” she said regarding the West Blairmore dumpster.
Mayor Blair Painter said the only issue with taking the bin away was it would leave campers with nowhere to dump their garbage. Several councillors suggested they would take it home with them.
“Are they going to take it home? Or are they going to leave it at a random campsite or dispose of it in the wilderness,” said Painter. “If we leave a bin at least the opportunity is there.”
Several councillors and the director of Planning Engineering and Operations agreed that public garbage receptacles would be used to capacity no matter how many bins were made available.
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“I’m highly suspicious that if you put two bins there, four bins there, six bins there, they’re going to be full. They’re easily accessible and they’re well used throughout the community,” said Thomas.
Councillors Bill Kovach agreed and said locals had abused the dumpsters near Hillcrest Hall and blamed a fire at the Bellevue MDM centre on full bins that had been set alight.

Bylaw/Wildlife/Fire/Rescue officials investigating
Garbage is a bear attractant, said Glavin who next raised the issue of residents putting their trash out too early and attracting hungry bruins.
“It’s gotten really bad,” said Glavin. “Last Wednesday, bear bangers were going off in Hillcrest. Maybe we could have more enforcement because it’s happening daily.”
Michele Schalekamp, director of Finance, said Fish and Wildlife, Fire/Rescue and the bylaw officer began investigating some offenders on Aug. 28.
“They will be inspecting problem areas and issuing warnings,” said Schalekamp. “Repeat offenders will be issued tickets,”
She introduced the possibility that offenders would not be ticketed if they agreed to purchase bear proof bins.
“Maybe we should look into increasing the fine,” responded Glavin.
“It’s a real shame that we have a bear smart committee program. We’ve worked hard to make this a bear smart community but you’ve got a few bad apples,” she continued.
Council discussed altering the bylaw officer’s work schedule to accommodate increased enforcement.
CAO Sheldon Steinke explained that the community’s only bylaw officer is scheduled to work on bylaw enforcement 60 per cent of the time and traffic enforcement the other 40 per cent of the time.
Steinke said the schedule was a budgetary decision made after the municipality lost a Peace Officer.
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September 10th ~ Vol. 84 No. 35
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