Officials frustrated by illegal dumpsite in Debert

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DEBERT – J.P. Wood looks with disgust at a mess of illegally dumped residential shingles and offers some advice.

J.P. Wood, waste management officer for Colchester County, is issuing a plea to anyone who may have seen a pickup truck and trailer with a load of shingles in the Debert area on Saturday to contact his office. The shingles were illegally dumped on private property on Dakota Road. HARRY SULLIVAN – TRURO DAILY NEWS

“Don’t trust anybody with your garbage.”

Standing beside two large piles of asphalt shingles that were unloaded on private property on Dakota Road last Saturday, the waste management officer for Colchester County said that anyone who has entrusted someone else to dispose of their garbage should be very careful to ensure it is properly disposed. And if you have hired someone to remove it for you – even if it was for a small sum - make sure you get a written receipt of the transaction.

“I just advise them to be very careful,” Wood said.  “This not something we like to see.”

Based on the observations of a local resident who regularly walks the near-isolated industrial area within the Dakota Road loop, the shingles were dumped off around 3 p.m. Saturday.

“You look at a site like this, it’s tough to say the quantity or the size of the house,” he said.  

“There’s quite a pile of shingles.”

The suspect vehicle is a black or dark blue pickup truck that was hauling what appeared to be a homemade, flatbed trailer with low side racks.

“It was a well-kept truck,” said the resident, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. The truck was further described as being clean looking but not flashy.

“I’m guessing it was a Chev or a Ford,” the person said.

Whether it was an area resident who re-shingled their own roof and dumped off the load as an easy means of disposing of it, or a contractor who failed to properly honour their commitment, is unknown.

But ultimately in such situations, the offenders are simply pushing their responsibility onto an innocent property owner.

“Right now it’s sitting on private property, so in instances like this, it becomes that private property owner’s problem,” Wood said.

Unfortunately, it’s not an isolated case.

“What we’ve noticed, and I’ve been with the county for six years now, I’ve noticed a lot of illegal dumping by people who have businesses in the community,” he said. “So it’s not somebody who comes from outside the community. That’s the unfortunate part because it’s your neighbours (who are doing the dumping).”

When he encounters such situations, Wood generally sifts through the dumped material to try to determine is source of generation.

There are also a couple of neighbouring businesses in the area with security surveillance cameras that may have captured the vehicle as it passed through and which may offer clues to the offender’s identity.

Failing such identification, however, the onus will fall to the property owner to clean up someone else’s mess.

“I’d like to think that somebody saw something in the middle of the day on Saturday,” Wood said.

And for anyone who has illegally disposed of their garbage onto someone else’s property, Wood suggested a prospect he would like to see them consider.

“What people have to think about is, what if this was their property that it was dumped on.”



Illegal dumping side bar:



Information provided by the County of Colchester Waste Management office:


There was concern that the clear bag program could increase the number of illegal dumps across the county.  This is proven not to be true.  The number of reported sites seems to remain close to the same year after year.

The most common materials found at an illegal dumpsite are typically construction and renovation materials. 


All of the reports of illegal dumping are investigated by J.P. Wood, waste management officer.

Since last April there have been 15 official complaints that required an investigation. The majority of the sites were ultimately cleaned up by the people whose identification had been found at the property. (This does not mean that they actually caused the material to be put there only that there was some circumstantial evidence that the garbage had been generated by a particular family, residence or property.)


The municipality has the ability to write summary offense tickets (ranging from $500 to $5,000) and to also recoup clean-up costs through a property owner’s municipal taxes.

Twitter: @tdnharry



Geographic location: Dakota Road, Debert, Colchester County

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Recent comments

  • Greg Maynard
    November 07, 2013 - 09:34

    I encountered domestic waste (garbage) being dumped onto a property we had rented in the business park. Equipment owed by a partner company had been filled with garbage which cost a significant amount of time and money since the garbage was frozen into the bottom of the equipment bin. The equipment could not be moved until this was removed.

  • Kevin
    November 07, 2013 - 08:51

    Believe there are several reasons for this. Some lazy or cutting corners to make a quick buck. Cost and trouble of taking to the dump. Stringent rules in place concerning what’s in each bag. Our neighbor had all their garbage refused because someone’s dog came along and urinated on the bags while they were at curbside. Sticker just said Dog P**s Several houses had garbage pickup rejected last week used clear blue bags instead of clear. Using compostable bags in the green bin can result in refusal supposedly these bags jam up the system. Dirty cardboard in a garbage bag causing refusal such as cardboard used for painting or car body work. I’m looking at doing my roof and mainly looking at leaving the old shingles on because of the cost of disposal. Would really like to remove them but having hard enough time saving for just the shingles. As a society as we make things more complicated and costly there will be an increase in those that disobey or can’t afford it. It is scary how at all levels of government and services provided continue to escalate in complexity, size and cost while wages stagnate.

  • Albert Spears
    November 07, 2013 - 02:26

    I have been a hunter and and an avid outdoorsman. I have noticed it he past few years an increase in the amount of garbage dumped along backroads in hunting areas. I see a range of garbage from baby toys to shingles to appliances, disposed and burnt out vehicles. The persons I hunt and enjoy the outdoors with are trying to clean up where possible for us to do so but I have noticed an increase of even small loads of garbage being left in wooded areas. Most people blame the cost of disposal at the landfill sites, Some people I talked to about this subject are very frustrated in the garbage trucks leaving thier bags on the sidewalk with a note (this garbage still has to be disposed of) telling them they had a small piece of garbage in the wrong bag, others just don't have any concience whatsoever. Something has to be done about Illegal dumping,