As the leaves begin to fall an increase of illegal yard waste dumping is being seen around the county.
“Unfortunately, we typically see an increase in the dumping of yard waste around this time of year, as people clean up their lawns,” Matt Terry, director of corporate communications with Norfolk County, said in an email to The Simcoe Reformer.
Turkey Point Provincial Park and St. Williams Conservation Reserve have seen a recent increase in both littering and yard waste dumping.
“Provincial parks and conservation reserves protect some of the most biodiverse places in Ontario, and this biodiversity includes an enormous number of native plant species,” said a post to the Turkey Point Provincial Park Facebook Page.
“Dumping yard waste into protected areas can impact the ecosystem for current and future generations to enjoy by allowing non-native plants to establish and out-compete native plants,” continued the post.
Residents with yard waste or garbage are asked to visit a waste transfer station rather than dumping in public or protected areas.
Fines for this type of dumping can range up to $5,000. Littering holds a fine of $150.
Terry added that this type of behaviour is difficult to prove so conviction rates are low.
“We encourage residents to take advantage of the leaf and yard waste collection program where available, drop leaves off at the transfer station, or mulch/compost for garden use,” said Terry.
Fall leaf and yard waste collection begins Oct. 19 and runs through November. More information is available at norfolkcounty.ca/waste.