Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Illegal Dumping Man Found And I Am Making A Statement

I reported an illegal dumping of construction material to 311 back in August. I was told at the time that nothing further could be done to find the person because the City By-Laws department did not have access to the MPI database to find out who this person was. I had a picture of the person, the truck he used, and the license plate of the truck used in the illegal dumping. That was not enough, at the time, to determine who the person was. The illegal dumper was free to dump whatever he wanted, whereever he wanted, because the system was broken.
Well, today I got a call from the By-Law department. I was told they were provided the information on the license plate and were able to proceed with the case. I will be making a statement next week. If necessary, I will also go to court to ensure this individual knows they did something wrong.
I remember the arrogance of the individual telling me he had the right to put his construction materials in my dumpster. I remember the arrogance of the individual telling me I should clean up my back lane. And I remember that my dumpster could not be emptied that week, because the door he jammed into it was too large to fit through the garbage truck mechanism. I remember that the City of Winnipeg tax payers had to pay for a second truck to come down my lane and get the door removed from the dumpster before I could get the dumpster emptied the next garbage day.
It took two and a half months to get the information from MPI, but at least they got it. Maybe the system is getting corrected. I sure hope so. But I will continue to work to correct the issues of waste management in the North End.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Garbage Master Plan And My Back Lane

The Garbage Master Plan Expo is this coming Saturday at the Convention Center. I am going to be there. And I am going to give my 30 seconds of input on what I think our Garbage Service should be like going forward. I want to make sure that my concerns are heard.
The North End could be a cleaner and safer place. If our back lanes were better taken care of, and garbage was removed regularly, including the bulk garbage that seems to accumulate all too frequently, we could start to change the attitudes of the residents. If we could have cleaner back lanes, we could feel better about ourselves, and start to have more respect for our neighbourhoods.
If the illegal dumping of bulk garbage was reported more and the By-Laws department were able to actually investigate all complaints and enforce the By-Laws, we could begin to change the actions of those who are currently doing the illegal dumping in the North End.
Imagine a North End that was clean. Imagine driving down a back lane in the heart of the North End and find the dumpsters empty and burn free. Imagine the back lane with no mattresses or couches lining it. Isn't that enough of an idea to fight for? Imagine the change in attitude from people inside the North End. And those who would dump their construction materials and unwanted household waste may think twice about dumping in a clean back lane.
Maybe I am a dreamer, but nothing gets done without a dream to start. I think the North End is worth fighting for.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Fate Of A North End Couch

I left the neighbourhood for one day and the whole place seemed to go up in flames. I read in the Friday Free Press that there were fires in the back lanes of Redwod, Alfred, and Aberdeen, all in the 300 block. Someone must have been busy with a book of matches.
When I got home Friday night, I did a quick drive down my own lane to check and make sure it was 'burn free'. No such luck.
There was one house in the lane that had a couch up against the back of it. The couch had been sitting there for as long as I can remember. But it was no longer sitting against the house. Its burned out carcass was up against the fence. And the back of the house had markings of a small house fire.

During my back lane walks I have been reporting bulky items that have been located in the lanes and against dumpsters. I know I can report those items and have them eventually taken away by the BFI trucks. I know I complain about the system, and how inefficient it is, but at least I can get those items removed from my neighbourhood.
But what can I do about the couches that sit in back yards. What can I do about the fire hazzards accumulating in so many of the yards of the North End? Is this an issue to report as a By-Law infraction? Should I notify the landlords that there are couches sitting in the back yards of their properties? Or do I just wait for them to be set on fire, and wait until someone moves the burned out carcass of the couch into the back lane so I can report it to 311 to have it picked up?
At least the fire was contained to the one house. And at least the fire was put out before it got out of control.