The end of April marks my first year as editor of my hometown paper the NOW.
I celebrated today by taking a photo of a filthy, disgusting mattress dumped on the sidewalk on Duthie Avenue in North Burnaby.
Yeah, I know, it’s not as good as cake, but I just couldn’t resist.
Since I started at the NOW, I’ve had a loose series of articles on people dumping on the community I love and call home.
The dumping has ranged from furniture to appliances to clothing to – in the weirdest case – hundreds of pounds of rotting chopped onions. Those were left in a shopping cart at the side of Lougheed Highway. (I have links to the previous columns posted in the related items list.)
There is a gallery of images posted above. Just click on the photos.
Things all started with a NOW reader named Carrie McLaren – she also ran in the civic election for the Burnaby Greens – posting a photo of a bunch of furniture dumped next to a “No Dumping” sign.
It was one of those middle fingers somebody flicked to the rest of the community as they lazily trashed our town.
I have become a little obsessed with the whole issue because it’s one of those basic things that makes a community look ugly.
Since that first post, I’ve received lots of tips and photos from people about dumping in Burnaby.
One man sent photos from South Burnaby along the lovely trails that follow the Fraser River. The area resident was fed up with having to interrupt his daily moments-of-Zen walks because he needed to pick up a fast-food wrapper.
On the one hand, it makes me sad for our community that there are so many terrible people.
On the other hand, it’s also inspiring when somebody takes a photo and tells me how angry they are at the dumping – it shows how many people give a damn about Burnaby.
That’s a half-full-glass way of approaching it, but I try and be an optimist.
So keep those photos and tips coming. Maybe we can shame or inspire more people into being better citizens.
You can follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.