‘Like nobody cares’: Illegal dumping sickens people living and working in St. James

News source from CTV News

People in a Winnipeg neighbourhood are taking a stand against some unsightly and hazardous garbage piling up this spring.

The sites are located in St. James in the area of Sturgeon Road and Saskatchewan Avenue. There’s one along Tonka Point, another in a wooded area off Sturgeon Road.

Many household items have been dumped, everything from furniture, mattresses carpets, broken glass, blinds and more.

“This makes me sick to see this. We’re not animals. This is dumping like animals in my opinion,” said Chris Pemkowski, who has lived in the area for a decade.

Pemkowski said he’s noticed garbage at the locations before, but lately it’s reached epic proportions.

“This spring I’ve noticed there’s a lot more here and on the side road,” he said.

“I’ve had enough of this.”

Dustin Boer works across the street. He can’t stand the mess anymore.

“It’s like nobody cares. Just throw it on the side of the road,” he said. “It started small and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger as the days go by. I think this is recent.”

John Trowbridge owns the land next to the dumping grounds along Tonka Point and in the wooded area off Sturgeon Road.

He said the garbage along Tonka Point has become worse in the last couple days.

Tonka Point

Trowbridge said the furniture was dumped in the wooded area about six months ago.

He said he plans to clean up the trash at both sites in about three weeks.

“We’re waiting for warm weather like everyone else. We clean it up and I guess we’ll have to put cameras here,” he told CTV News Wednesday afternoon.

The City of Winnipeg said it’s the property owners’ responsibility to keep their land clear of debris so it doesn’t attract rodents or create an arson hazard.

“If we have a complaint and we assess the property and from the pictures you showed me it would be a violation of our bylaw, we would require the property to clean it up,” said bylaw community enforcement manager, Winston Yee.

Yee said if garbage is illegally dumped on public property — as it was partly on Tonka Point, the city will come and clean it up.

The city said it’s important people call 311 to report suspected incidents of illegal dumping because it’s impossible for them to know about all of them. Once the city is aware of a problem area, it will investigate.

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