Jon Firor just wants to go for a walk in peace.
But he can’t.
When he hits the trails near his home on Marine Way in south Burnaby, including the one along the Fraser River, all he sees is garbage.
Lots of it.
So, instead of walking, enjoying nature and pondering the mysteries of life, Firor just feels frustrated. He also is forced to spend his time picking up pieces of garbage and wondering why other walkers don’t do their part.
Firor told me his story after reading one in a series of blogs I’ve written about dumping in Burnaby. I could literally write about this every week due to the amount of dumping that goes on in our community.
I try and pick my spots. This is one of them.
“I read your article on the dumping on Burnaby Mountain,” Firor says. “I live in another dumping zone and it never ceases to amaze me the brazen attitude taken by these dumpers … Hardly a week goes by without someone dumping their unwanted items. The enforcement is a joke.”
Some of the garbage being dumped in south Burnaby, Firor says, is too big for him to clean up during his walks.
This garbage is mostly construction materials. Certain contractors are too cheap to take their waste – such as drywall – to a waste transfer station, too lazy to make an effort, or too evil to give a damn about their community.
Firor knew about one jerk dumping used construction materials all over Keith Street.
“Well, one day, while walking my dogs, I came across a van dumping materials,” Firor said. “He left expired vehicle insurance with his name and address and sped off. I reported to the City of Burnaby, who had little interest in doing anything and referred me to the RCMP. The RCMP, after a long wait, were not interested either and muttered something about me not being able to ID the person. So much for the threat of enforcement.”
Things have actually gotten even worse lately, Firor told me, because a Tim Hortons opened near his south Burnaby neighbourhood, plus the addition of more commercial units south of Marine Way.
Well, now the workers walk to Tim Hortons along the beautiful paths on their breaks and at lunch,” he says. “On their way back to their offices, many simply toss their garbage onto the trails, even though they have garbage bins at their office and there is even one at the trail head. If everyone did this, can you imagine how our trails and parks would look? I will go as far as to heap blame on those that walk rights pass the garbage on the trail - it is really beautiful. No one even thinks to pick up the trash and keep our environment clean. I know I do it every day and have even piled stuff in the middle of the trail up to see how long it will stay. People ignore it and just walk around it. We are all just guests on this planet and it is our duty to preserve that which gives us our precious life.”
Firor has a simple message. Don’t toss your garbage on the ground. If you see it, pick it up and dispose of it properly.
“Come on people, pitch in and help keep Burnaby and the world a place of beauty.”
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44