November 5th, 2018 ~ It is an issue faced by many communities and towns across Newfoundland and Labrador: illegal dumping.
Recent dumping at the community bonfire site in a Central Newfoundland town, King’s Point, caused the Town Council there to decide 2018 would see the last of the large community bonfires that have been held for generations, yearly in November to mark Guy Fawkes Night.
King’s Point Town Council had warned previously that if the secret dumping of items that cannot be burned — plastics, tires, and such — didn’t stop, the community bonfires could not continue.
This year the bonfire pile, that should have been only a pile of wood, contained plastic toys, Christmas decorations, household garbage and even moose carcass parts.
The burning of garbage can cause headaches and nausea. It can also increase the risk of developing heart disease. The smoke can contain dioxins, arsenic, PCBs, carbon monoxide and more. And pollutants can be left behind in the ash. (www.ec.gc.ca)
Last week King’s Point Town staff cleared out the items from the bonfire pile that could not be burned and carried it all to the landfill near South Brook, making multiple trips.
Council then stated via social media that this would be the last year for a large community bonfire.
The post ignited a discussion about illegal dumping.
In the end, though, the last of King’s Point’s bonfires, scheduled for this past Saturday night, was rained out by Mother Nature. It will be rescheduled as weather permits.
Illegal dumping was also brought into the light, in the nearby town of Springdale, earlier this year when concerned citizens offered funds to any group that could organize a clean up of illegally dumped items on an access road. [See Facebook post]
[Top photo: Children enjoy the community bonfire in King’s Point in 2017]
[Disclosure: the owner of greenbayfeed.com sits on the King’s Point Town Council.]