Garbage wrappers, chairs, shopping carts, clothing and food are just some of the items strewn throughout Danna Casto’s neighbourhood.
She’s lived at the 121 Street and 100 Avenue home for 20 years, and it’s always been bad, but never this messy.
Casto has diligently called the city whenever she sees trash that’s been dumped, using the new automated reporting system.
However, her breaking point was a chair.
It had been dumped, and the city’s website didn’t have the appropriate cross street to report it.
“Then I realized there was another chair, and another chair,” Casto said in an interview Thursday. “Then I’d come back from my dog walks, and I can’t remember where all that stuff was.”
So for almost two weeks, she’s been bringing her camera with her on dog walks or when she takes her daughter to school or swim lessons.
From there, she created a blog, itemizing the trash she sees on her journey.
The inventory of garbage is overwhelming.
Since Dec. 4, Casto estimates she has recorded more than 200 pictures detailing the huge amount of litter.
Casto says she doesn’t blame the city, crews come out to clean up whenever she calls.
She thinks the problem needs to be tackled in the schools, educating kids on the importance of taking pride in their neighbourhood. And maybe the kids will bring that message back home.
“It just kind of hit me that this is ridiculous,” Casto said. “I don’t think this is all over Surrey. I think it’s more concentrated in certain areas and apparently it’s in the areas I go in.”
She acknowledges that it’s not all huge dumps of garbage, but the small bits of trash are everywhere.
“It’s just this constant stream that you have to follow everywhere you go in this neighourhood,” she says.
Since the 48-year-old wife and mother started the blog, she has signed to “adopt” her street to keep it clean.
She says that’s a band-aid measure, because every time something gets picked up, something else gets dropped on the ground.
She recalls the children from a nearby basement suite helping their father carry out a baby seat and throw it onto the train tracks.
“How do you respond to a situation like that?” she asks. “I don’t know.”
She emailed Surrey councillors and says she received a “standard politician’s reply.” promising to forward it to the engineering department or bylaw department.
“People have been complaining about this for years,” she said.
The Leader reported last March that the city had spent $830,000 in the year previous cleaning up after illegal dumpers.
Casto’s blog, Keep Canada Clean, can be found at http://keepcanadaclean.blogspot.com.
* Have a picture of waste that’s been dumped in our beautiful city? Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll include it in an online slideshow. Please include the address where the photo was taken.