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Scavenging decreased at Happy Valley-Goose Bay landfill

People mostly scavenge at the landfill for recyclables.
People mostly scavenge at the landfill for recyclables. - File Photo

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

In mid-July the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay announced they would be stepping up enforcement at the landfill to try and cut down on scavenging.

The change was the topic of debate on social media with detractors on both sides. Some felt it blocked people from recycling salvageable materials from the landfill, while others welcomed the change.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay Deputy Mayor Bert Pomeroy said at the time it was announced that it was more a safety and liability issue than anything. A six-year-old girl was injured at the landfill in 2016 by a piece of heavy equipment and the town wants to prevent anything like that from happening again.

“It’s a liability issue,” he said. “We have a responsibility to ensure public safety.

“If we have a policy that says there’s no scavenging and don’t enforce it we could be liable for anything that could happen. It’s protecting public interest and the interests of the town.”

Now, less than two months after the change, Pomeroy said there’s been a noticeable decrease in scavenging at the landfill.

“We’ve been informed there’s a significant reduction in the number of people at the landfill, so it’s working,” he said.

Pomeroy said all the metal that’s brought to the landfill is separated and recycled and as far as he knows the issue is more with recyclable beverage containers.

“There is a town depot here and if people choose to throw these items in the garbage it’s not something I recommend, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to separate them,” he said. “If people don’t want them just put it on social media and people will be glad to take them.”

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