Donation dump finds a new home
Okotoks: Piles of garbage bags and other items taken away last week
By: Darlene Casten
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 11:53 am
Okotoks’ problems with donation dumping have reappeared and disappeared, but some are worried the heaps of garbage bags and household items discarded downtown will be back.
A pair of donation bins next to the entrance of the downtown Okotoks post office were removed two weeks ago, however, donations continued to pile up at the site, causing concerns from nearby businesses and their customers.
On Feb. 13 a business picking up donations for a variety of charities came to collect the pile of goods dumped beside the post office.
Cesar Escodar runs a business picking up donations for charities and he said he was called to clean up the mess last week. Escodar said he didn’t maintain the bins previously and doesn’t know to which charity they belonged.
Escodar said when he received a call he was willing to help because he had a driver going to Okotoks. However, he said the donations picked up on Wednesday will not go to a charity, they are headed to the landfill.
“The driver said they are wet and dirty,” Escodar said.
Postmaster Lisa Faber said after the bins were taken away people were coming to ask where they went and then began complaining as stuff started piling up where the bins once were.
“Some people said it looks disgusting,” Faber said. “It makes the building look like a dumping zone.”
Some people were disappointed to see the bins gone, she said.
“I had one man tell me it’s a shame because it’s getting harder to make donations,” Faber said.
Now that the bins are gone Faber said a sign needs to be put up to tell people not to leave their donations at that spot.
“Apparently it needs to be very obvious,” Faber said.
Even when there were bins in place, Faber said they would become full and people would start piling stuff up around them.
“I think it’s supposed to be a clothes drop off,” she said. “At one point someone dropped off a futon.”
Okotoks municipal enforcement team leader Tim Stobbs said they have received a complaint and are working with the landowner to ensure the site stays clean.
He said the owner of the mall is responsible for cleaning up the pile of donations, but if a resident or business made a complaint to municipal enforcement they would get a hold of the landowner to try to get the situation sorted out.
This isn’t the first time the Town has seen a problem with messes at donation bins or at charity locations accepting donations.
“Every place that has donations gets this problem,” Stobbs said.
The only place in town now taking donations is Bibles For Missions and they only accept items from people who make an appointment. They also have signs around their business forbidding people from dropping off items outside.