Rural roads in Kawartha Lakes often recipients of unwelcome garbage

By Lisa Hart

An example of illegal dumping in Kawartha Lakes. Photo: Charles Duggan

Bags of trash and assorted garbage are silently making their appearance along rural roads across Kawartha Lakes.

This type of dumping is a crime of convenience – it happens where the road traffic is light, in secluded areas usually out of sight of local homeowners. It’s a crime of disrespect to the people who live in and visit these areas. Roadside dumping is a crime that costs the taxpayers in Kawartha Lakes every year.

Our road is a dumping ground for people,” says longtime Fenelon Falls resident Charles Duggan, who recently picked up three bags of trash dumped near the creek on Northline Road.

City officials prefer residents report incidents of illegal dumping online through their Report It form and leave the clean-up to the professionals with waste management. While some residents like Duggan are frustrated by the regular occurrence of the problem, city staff are concerned about the hazards found in some illegal trash sites, such as broken glass, syringes and toxic chemicals.

The hazards posed by illegal dumping are not limited to those one might be exposed to during clean-up. According to the city’s website, such sites attract vermin and disease-carrying mosquitoes, while their contents can endanger the safety of pets and wildlife. Illegal dumping can affect the natural runoff during heavy rain, leading to flooding and property damage. Some sites present a fire hazard or contain chemicals which can contaminate our water.

The Bury’s Green area represents another hot spot for illegal dumping in the city, giving the Junkin family lots of unwanted experience at helping to pick up what other people throw away. “People dump televisions, old chairs and tires lots of tires,” says Jennie Junkin.

After taking on the risks of collecting the trash into one easily accessible location, the Junkins call the city to make a report so a pickup can be made. The pickup can take some time, Junkin warns, and they have been advised to ask for an incident number when making the call, just in case they need to follow up.

Residents may find there is a real cost to taking on the role of Good Samaritan and trying to deal with the clean-up on their own. While the trash can be added to their regular weekly garbage pickup or taken directly to the dump, bag limits and regular dumping fees will apply.

Perhaps the only deterrent to the act of illegal dumping is through the old-fashioned concept of neighbourhood watch. The municipality’s website suggests that if you witness suspicious behaviour, particularly at night, you can call the Kawartha Lakes Police Services or the Kawartha Lakes OPP.

While they don’t get a lot of calls of this nature, Sgt. Deb Hagarty of the Kawartha Lakes Police Services says members of the public who observe suspicious activity are encouraged to call police. Any information that might be helpful in an investigation should be noted when possible, including location, time of day, type of vehicle, licence plate number and a description of the people involved.




  1. Tom Mohr says:

    Garbage is as garbage does.

  2. Wallace says:

    The same people that don’t clean up after their dogs.

  3. Barkerboy says:


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