The City of Pitt Meadows is starting a new campaign to curb illegal dumping.
Playing off the city slogan Pitt Meadows is the Natural Place, the tag line of the new campaign will be It’s Not Natural, Report Illegal Dumping, accompanied by images juxtaposing landscapes with piles of garbage digitally manipulated into the scenes.
One image shows a mother and child canoeing past a pile of garbage in a river. Another shows someone enjoying a bike ride along a dike with a pile of garbage, including a mattress and chair, at the side of the path.
Carolyn Baldridge, manager of communications and community engagement, said Pitt Meadows spends $30,000 a year cleaning up illegal dumps, not including staff time.
“It’s an eyesore to our community,” said Baldridge, as well as a safety and an environmental hazard.
Baldridge added that previous campaigns with Metro Vancouver didn’t resonate.
The new campaign will be rolled out in two phases.
The first will be rolled out in the middle of May with a focus on raising awareness around the costs and effects of illegal dumping and giving residents three ways to report instances.
“Spring is typically a time when we see an increase in illegal dumping,” said Baldridge.
The second roll out is being planned for later in the summer with information on the correct methods of disposal for items such as mattresses, drywall, paint, furniture, appliances, household items and construction items.
The campaign will be used in newspaper advertising, advertising on Facebook and on a mobile devices. It will also be used on the sign outside the municipal hall and on the city website.
“This is not a problem that we are going to stop in its tracks,” said Baldridge.