Illegal Dumping is not listed as a crime in the Criminal Code though most municipalities have bylaws that prohibit it. Those convicted can face fines ranging from $100 to $10,000, depending on what is being dumped and where it is left. Corporations can face a $1-million fine in Newfoundland if convicted of illegal dumping.
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What is Illegal Dumping in Canada?
The act of illegal dumping is not included in the Criminal Code though most municipalities levy fines to those convicted of this crime. Illegal dumping is generally done by those looking to avoid the fees associated with disposing of unwanted items and waste material legally, and is often carried out at night to avoid detection.
The definition of illegal dumping varies by municipality but it commonly involves:
dumping waste or construction material on public or private property;
pouring liquid waste into sewers or waterways;
leaving bulky items such as couches along the roadside or in parks;
placing household waste in public waste bins in a park or on a street; or
putting waste in private garbage dumpsters.
How Municipalities Deal With Illegal Dumping
Numerous Canadian municipalities have issued statements denouncing the act of public dumping, noting the cost for clean up can be in the millions annually.
Here is an overview of how various municipalities deal with this issue across the country.
In the Yukon (Report illegal dumping,) the fine for simple littering is $500, with $1,000 fines given for the unlawful handling or disposal of solid or special waste.
Calgary (Bylaws related to garbage and waste) hands out a variety of fines, depending on what is being dumped and where. For example, depositing household waste without consent will result in a $250 fine, whereas dumping industrial waste without a permit will be met with a $400 fine. The largest fine, $1,000, is for depositing hazardous waste generated from a commercial business at a household hazardous waste depot.
In Saskatoon (Bylaw No. 8310,) those convicted of illegal dumping face a $500 fine for a first infraction and $1,000 for a second infraction. The owner of any vehicle involved in an illegal dumping infraction can also be held liable.
Winnipeg (Illegal Dumping Surveillance Program) levies $600 fines for individuals convicted of dumping garbage and $1,000 fines for corporations guilty of the same crime. If the dumping is on a large scale, those fines jump up to $2,000 and $4,000 respectively.
In Hamilton, Ont., (Illegal Dumping) fines for illegal dumping can vary, however the maximum fine is $10,000.
In Newfoundland, (NFLD Illegal Dumping) fines range from $500 to $10,000 for individuals and from $1,000 to $1 million for corporations convicted of illegal dumping.