McCALLUM SETTLEMENT - Simply perplexing.
© HARRY SULLIVAN - TRURO DAILY NEWS
McCallum Settlement landowner Rod A'Court can't understand why someone would dump their garbage on someone else's property.
Rod A'Court strolls up to the head of a well-groomed woods trail that runs through part of his property - one he played on as a child - and then stops to show a visitor the scene that has produced his mind-churning questions.
"This is the family homestead and when I took it over I reopened these trails. This is just one of many. As you can see I mow it and manicure it and look after it," he says, pointing to a sign he has erected suggesting that visitors are welcome to use the trail for recreational purposes but not for hunting or the dumping of garbage.
"I didn't want a no-trespassing sign. I hate no trespassing signs. I wanted people to enjoy it," he says of the trail.
"So this is what I get," he adds, gesturing towards several spots just a couple of metres away to where four clear garbage bags had been discourteously tossed onto his property.
A couple of the bags are still intact but the others had obviously been scented out by wildlife and torn apart. Milk and juice cartons, smaller bags of garbage, plastic doggie treat bags and other bits of soggy refuse are strewn all about.
"I've worked most of my life to keep this property pristine and clean and stuff and I normally just go ahead and clean up the garbage because this isn't the first time. But I'm just getting tired of it," A'Court says. "What really upset me the most about this incident is that it's so blatant and deliberate. Like it's right here in front of the sign that says enjoy nature. I'm not trying to block you, I'm not trying to be nasty. Enjoy the property, just (respect it)."
Also included among the mess is a child's schoolwork - a colouring exercise for fire safety and another piece of paper that appears to be a spelling test.
The latter sheet is dated Sept. 23/13 and is accompanied by a name, which A'Court assumes to be of the child to whom it belonged.
"I understand the sensitivity of this, that this is a child's document," he says. For that reason, A'Court is reluctant to reveal the first name. The surname on the sheet, however, reads ‘Ferguson' and A'Court hopes that by making the issue public, the person to whom the garbage originally belonged might see this story and accept some responsibility for dealing with it.
"There's no need of that with the county collection services that we have," he says.
"What I'm hoping for is that with this publicity the people will fess up and just say, ‘yeah we did it and we apologize and we'll clean it up.' I don't want to press charges and make a huge scene, for so many reasons. But I sure would like them to come out and help clean it up and take care of it. We'll shake hands and off you go," he says.
Still, he is perplexed by it all.
"It's not the fact that people can't afford the collection because the collection is included in your taxes. It's a mindset," A'Court says. "It's, ‘I don't want this junk in my yard but I don't care where it ends up,' and so if they can come out and pollute what they assume is some obscure piece of land, and they go back and - out of sight out of mind. But someone like me is the recipient."
A'Court is not holding out a lot of hope that the culprit involved will accept responsibility but should that happen, there are a several things he would like to say.
"Three things: Can you please clean it up; please not do it again and can you please help me understand why you did it in the first place," he says.
"I'd just ask someone to explain to me why that's not acceptable on your property but it's acceptable on mine."