Illegal trash burdens MRC, costs taxpayers thousands

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Added: Wed, 11/21/2018 - 10:56pm
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One of many illegal dumpsites located within the MRC Pontiac's public forests: at kilometre 31 on the Usborne/Picanoc Road.

Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – The MRC Pontiac took to social media November 8, to draw attention to a problem they say has been occurring for years and costs taxpayers several thousands of dollars annually to rectify: uncontrolled, illegal garbage dumps in the region's public forests. 
A picture taken in mid-October along Usborne/Picanoc Road at kilometre 31 was included in the post (see photo, right), which the MRC says accurately portrays the problem experienced in at least eight other TNO sites as well.
“There's household waste, recyclables, appliances, furniture, and even construction waste [discarded on the ground],” said the MRC. The MRC used to manage two waste bins at that particular location, but the site had to be permanently closed in 2017, along with others, because despite signs indicating
only household waste was accepted, people continued to leave prohibited items. 
However, the Usborne/ Picanoc Road site represents only the tip of the iceberg
compared to an illegal dump located at the abandoned Manitou forestry campsite where the trash mound is estimated to measure 1.5 m high, 15 m wide and 150 m long. 
The MRC signed agreements with various municipalities to allow TNO users to bring their household waste to municipal transfer sites free of charge. For example, those served by the Picanoc road can use the Otter Lake transfer site; those served by Bois Franc Road can go to Mansfield; those from Schyan Road can go to Sheenboro; and those using Rapides Road can go to Rapides-des-Joachims.
Despite this, the problem continues. “Last year, over 14 tons of garbage had to be cleaned up and taken to the Pontiac Transfer Station from the Picanoc Road site alone,” said Thierry Raimbault, MRC Pontiac Environment Coordinator, noting the same will have to be done again this year.
According to Raimbault, the MRC is now exploring other options to prevent
the problem. “Our natural environment is the wealth of the Pontiac – preserve
it by bringing waste to authorized places!” concluded the MRC's online post.