In broad daylight on May 14, two men drove into a parking lot in Burnaby and dumped 70 garbage bags of asbestos-containing drywall – tossing bags in the middle of the street.
The incident, caught on camera around 4:30 p.m. in a light industrial area of the city near BCIT at 3456 Gardner Court, will cost more than $3,000 for disposing the materials properly.
Lan Zheng, property manager for Canreal Management which manages the property, said the tenants discovered the strewn garbage bags on May 15.
They called the company’s contractor, who attempted to remove the garbage bags.
“They went there, and then they actually looked into the bag, the contents of the bag, and then alerted us saying that ‘This is not just the 10, 20 bags we’re talking about – there’s a lot,’” Zheng said, confirming they found 70 bags of waste.
“And also, the contents inside the bags are old drywall. So that’s when we noticed how severe this is.”
Zheng said the drywall was asbestos-containing and possibly coated with lead paint.
She said illegal dumping happens in the area occasionally, with objects like furniture, but not at this scale.
“That’s probably the most amount I have ever seen for any of my properties across the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. I’ve never seen that large of a dump.”
They had to pay a little more than $3,000 to bulk dispose of the materials and clean the area.
“There’s really nothing we can do about it,” Zheng said and added it’s frustrating because now the company has to absorb the cost of properly disposing of the materials.
“This is just not fair.”
The City of Burnaby has received 10,851 reports of abandoned waste over the last three years and 172 reports of drywall dumping, according to city public affairs officer Cole Wagner.
Abandoned waste includes litter, bags of household garbage, mattresses and other materials banned from recycling collection, he said.
The property management company is hoping the public might be able to identify the men in the video, though Zheng noted it appears the licence plate is obscured.
“I think that this is not their first time. This definitely won’t be their last time if they don’t get caught,” Zheng said.