REPORTING · 18th September 2015
Kitimat City Council started off with a discussion on debris on the highway on Monday, September 14th. It started with a letter from Ted Bergen.
“The debris on the side of the highway from the snowflake to the town site has been disgusting mess for far too long. I would think, it has been an embarrassment to all citizens of Kitimat, including Mayor and Council, but the problem continues to go on. Why? Why does it repeat itself year after year when volunteers spend hours every year cleaning it up?” wrote Bergen.
He stated it is not the District’s Responsibility, but people see the mess as they enter town and the Contractor is supposed to clean the mess every four months, but he did not think this seemed accurate. When he did some clean up on the side of the road, he found the plastic had been there for longer than three months, as it disintegrated in his hand.
“The amount of garbage the volunteers picked up was disturbing to say the least. Almost 200 garbage bags from the snowflake to the town site (and that’s not [i]ncluding the couches, the plywood, tires etc.) and there is still more to pick up.
He suggested that the residents of Kitimat work with the District to keep the city limits looking like something to be proud of.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to receive the letter for information and be forwarded to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“I think there are a few things we need to do. There is a statement made about the truck there and how many times a year they clean it. It would be nice to have confirmation about what exactly is stated in the contract and what is taking place in respect to the clean-up,” said Feldhoff.
He pointed out they have a person doing a clean-up on the Riverbank and perhaps they should have a person who is doing clean up at the entrance of town.
Councillor Rob Goffinet asked the administration if there was something they could do to address this problem.
CAO Warren Waycheshen stated have volunteers do the work. He pointed out they do not want to download the Provincial responsibilities onto the District. However, he agreed with Feldhoff, they should be asking the Ministry of Transportation what should be done and how to get this program going.
Councillor Mary Murphy pointed out that former Councillor Corinne Scott, when she was on Council, had a motion to have drivers secure all loads going to the dump. She stated this was not supported by the Council and this responsibility was with the Contractor and the Ministry.
“We thought that all of the debris was coming off of trucks going to the dump and I agree, a lot of it is, but if you go further than the dump, you’re still seeing it on the side of the roads, all the way to Terrace. Maybe the ownership has to go back to the contractor, because he’s the one that comes and cleans up the roadsides,” said Murphy.
Councillor Larry Walker stated it should be the contractor who is their first step, because things flow downhill in government.
Feldhoff told Council there is a contract and Council should find out if it’s being done. Walker added they need to get the gravel swept off of the road near the bridge. This makes it difficult to cycle in the area.
“We’re talking about basically spending public money on cleaning up messes. It’s really amazing that the people around here continually litter. We’re very proud of the look of our town, but littering and disrespect for public space are kind of rampant,” said Goffinet.
He was concerned because he thought The District of Kitimat was policing loads to the dump. He wanted to know how to cut down on the amount of garbage so they are not picking it up after the fact.
Feldhoff stated there were already provincial rules in relation to loads being taken to the dump. He suggested the provincial laws might need sufficient enforcement.
Comment by Campion on 21st September 2015
Contact Penticton council, they had the same issue at Campbell Mountain landfill.
Its now mandatory to have all loads covered. Show up at the landfill "tarpless" and you get one warning, then fines.
They also have an employee checking roadside daily.
Comment by F on 19th September 2015
Said this on the river bank clean up but I'll say it here too, if highways aren't going to clean up the mess then maybe the city should seriously look at taking the stretch from town to cable car over. Have it in a routine and you'd never notice the mess maybe they can plow that stretch in the winter time. Let highways worry about cable car to terrace !!!
Gravel & Garbage on Hiway
Comment by Larry on 19th September 2015
It should be noted that the maintenance of the Hiway from the Haisla turn off to the Hirsch Creek Bridge is under the authority of the Provincial Govt and their sub contractor, not the DOK.
Hard to understand
Comment by Vern on 18th September 2015
This is a problem that does not go away. We need to change this but first figure out why it happens. The dump is easy to get to and well run. Maybe expanding the hours it is open might help, maybe placing cameras on the road between the town and cablecar, maybe high fines and rewards to those reporting.