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Illegal Dumping

Photo showing illegal dumping of trash items

We are all stewards of the land and have a responsibility to protect it.

Illegal dumping involves the unauthorized disposal of waste on public or private property. It can quickly escalate from one or two bags of garbage to a much larger unsightly dump, as others using the same area discard their waste. It is a major problem in Saskatchewan.

Learn what you can do to help solve this problem.


1. What is Being Illegally Dumped

The following items are often illegally dumped:

  • Household trash
  • Construction debris
  • Tires
  • Appliances (fridges, microwaves)
  • Electronics (computers, TVs)
  • Furniture (mattresses, couches)
  • Garden waste (lawn clippings, soil)
  • Chemicals and hazardous waste
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Scrap metal

2. Why People Dump Illegally

Here are some reasons why people engage in illegal dumping:

  • Evading entrance fees at the landfill
  • Avoiding travel distance to landfill site or transfer station
  • Historically accepted practices of disposing waste on abandoned or undeveloped land
  • Community is not aware what waste is accepted at the landfill
  • Adding to an existing unauthorized landfill site

Illegal dumpsites are costly. They decrease property values, increase property taxes and negatively impact economic development. Clean-up costs can also be significant.


3. Where Garbage is Being Illegally Dumped

Here are some common locations where garbage is often discarded:

  • Public streets and roadsides
  • Vacant lots and abandoned properties
  • Forests
  • Industrial areas
  • Waterbodies
  • Parks and recreation areas
  • Ditches and drainage channels

Did you know that many municipalities advertise special time periods when landfill access is free. Contact your local municipality to find out more and take advantage of these opportunities.


4. Recycle Your Waste

Saskatchewan has several programs that collect and recycle products like old tires, used batteries and electronics, compact fluorescent bulbs, oil and paint, plastic shopping bags, and construction and demolition materials.

See the province's list of waste recycling programs for the products your community is most likely to start collecting. For additional recycling options, visit the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council's website.

To reduce the amount of waste you're creating, learn how to make the garbage your last resort.


5. Protect the Land and its Natural Beauty

Dumping is harmful to the environment. Old or broken appliances can leak chemicals hazardous to the environment and wildlife, especially near water. Even non-toxic items, such as bags of branches and leaves, can become fire hazards.

Other risks include:

  • Soil Contamination: Dumping waste materials, especially hazardous substances, contaminates the soil. This affects plant growth, soil fertility and can even lead to groundwater pollution.
  • Water Pollution: When dumped waste leaches into nearby water bodies, it pollutes rivers, lakes and groundwater. This harms aquatic life and can make water unsafe for human and animal consumption.
  • Health Risks: Toxic substances from dumped waste pose health risks to humans and animals. Exposure can lead to respiratory problems, skin diseases and other illnesses.
  • Economic Costs: Cleaning up illegal dumpsites is expensive. Taxpayers bear the burden, and funds that could be used for other essential services are diverted.

Photo showing Saskatchewan water and marsh lands with green hills in the background

Help keep our province beautiful by putting waste in the right place.

Two photos of illegal dumping examples - in ditch and thrown off a vehicle

Illegal dumpsites are unsightly. Piles of trash and debris are eyesores and diminish the appeal of our neighbourhoods and natural landscapes. Waste diminishes the beauty of parks, forests and open spaces. Abandoned items like old furniture, appliances and tires are unattractive and reduce property values.


6. Protect Our Wildlife

Illegal dumping often includes food waste or other items that can attract and negatively impact wildlife.

Photo of a bear eating garbage

Attractants found in household trash or other waste can lead to the creation of habituated and food-conditioned animals. Animals that become habituated, depending on the species, can become a risk to human safety and may need to be euthanized. Other waste items including plastic bags, pop can rings, cords, etc. can entangle wildlife or be ingested, leading to injury or other complications.

The Wildlife Regulations, 1981, prohibit feeding or leaving attractants for bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes. This regulation helps alleviate increased concerns related to dangerous wildlife gaining access to human-sourced foods. Illegal dumping and failure to manage attractants can result in fines under the regulations.

It's important we all do our part to keep wildlife and people safe. Keeping waste products in proper containers and using licensed landfills limits the creation of habituated wildlife, keeps lakes and rivers clean and helps ensure the overall health of the environment.


7. Report Illegal Dumping

If you suspect someone is dumping or burning waste unlawfully, please call the TIPP line at 1-800-667-7561 or report anonymously online. All calls and submissions are confidential.

Report illegal dumping


8. Northern Landfills, Resources and Contact Information

La Ronge - Regional Landfill
The landfill is a not-for-profit organization, owned by the Lac La Ronge Regional Waste Management Corporation, through a partnership between the Town of La Ronge, Village of Air Ronge, Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Northern Municipal Services, Saskatchewan Parks and the Ministry of Environment.

SALT Toolkit
Saskatchewan Aboriginal Land Technicians (SALT) Waste Management Toolkit for Saskatchewan First Nations Communities


9. Legislation

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