News / Calgary

Councillor worried landfill hours contributing to illegal dumping

Shane Keating has asked the city to examine the services landfills offer

The City of Calgary reduced its hours of operation at the city's landfills in January due to decreased demand.

Courtesy City of Calgary

The City of Calgary reduced its hours of operation at the city's landfills in January due to decreased demand.

A councillor is concerned that new hours of operation at Calgary’s landfills could be leading to an increase in illegal dumping, and he’s asking city administration to take a closer look.

Coun. Shane Keating submitted a formal request to administration with questions about hours at the Shepard Landfill. In the request, he notes statistics he was provided showing a 29 per cent increase in illegal alleyway dumping in April, and a 64 per cent increase in May.

“A good portion of that could be, they go to the landfill and it’s closed, so then they find a spot and get rid of it rather than taking it home,” said Keating.

In June, Metro reported on a Calgary man who found a pile of construction waste in his back yard. He was told by the city he would have to pay for the cost of cleaning it up.

Keating said he isn’t necessarily looking at increasing the landfill hours again.

“I still support the cuts because we get calls time and time again to reduce, and here’s a case where we’re obviously not meeting the revenues coming in,” he said.

What he would like to see is creative solutions to provide better customer service, and he noted some are already in place.

“During busy hours they have fast tracking of minimum charge loads. So someone will come in and they’ll say, ‘Yep, you’ve got the minimum charge,” and they pay $20 and they get out. They bypass the lines and go.”

At Shepard, they’re opening certain entrances just for city vehicles to reduce the line-ups, and they’re adjusting the way traffic flows in the landfills, so drivers don’t have to turn around.

Erich Krause, president of contracting firm Building Works LTD, said the reduced hours mean they have to keep a closer eye on which dump is open on a given day, and sometimes have to drive to a less-convenient landfill.

“They’ve increased the fees recently and you have to separate things,” said Krause. “There’s more time needed to sort your garbage, and the cost has gone up quite substantially.”

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