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Public Notice - Don't Dump Your Yard Waste

As summer approaches, many residents start cleaning up their properties. We are often saddened to see large piles of leaves, grass clippings, and other yard debris dumped in areas such as wetlands, roadsides, hiking trails, and around the Cape Bonavista. Dumping yard waste is illegal and can have serious consequences.

Illegal dumping is a serious offence under the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Protection Act, and fines for individuals can range from $500 to $10,000, while corporations can face fines of $1,000 to $1 million.

So why is dumping natural, biodegradable materials like leaves, trees and grass harmful to areas like the wetlands in this photo? The short answer is that when the materials break down they become soil, and that soil fills in the wetlands. Filled wetlands do not offer the same flood storage capacity, so the risk of flooding is increased. This flooding can affect you and your neighbours. It also affects the natural plant species and wildlife in the area.

Too often, homeowners see natural areas as convenient places to dump. Giant piles of decomposing yard waste are not an attractive look in our beautiful community and in the case of grass clippings, can smell pretty bad or even catch fire due to the heat from decomposition. Also, if any of the material has been treated with any type of chemical it ends up in a pond, stream or other waterbody, the chemicals could be transported downstream and end up in our water supply.

If you either don’t want to compost on your property, or you don’t have space to do so, you can bring your yard waste to the Town Dump. Residents and businesses can properly dispose of waste at Bonavista Waste Management Site on Route 235. The site is open Tuesday to Saturday 8:00 am-12:00 pm and 12:30 pm-4:30 pm. Properly disposing of waste at authorized sites helps to protect the environment and the community.


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