Now we have a Dumping Problem

The County’s Dumps (now called Community Recycling Centres or CRC’s) have been closed for a while and selfish residents have taken to dumping their garbage in Parks, streets and alleys. The good news is that effective next week, the CRCs will reopen although they will have restrictions.  The Town of Cobourg issued a notice yesterday reminding residents that “Northumberland County and Town of Cobourg Bylaw Enforcement Officers and the Cobourg Police Service will be fining anyone caught illegally dumping. Common areas for dumping will be monitored on a regular basis. Illegal dumpers can face a minimum fine of $105 or a maximum fine of $5,000.”  Downtown store owners complained during their recent meeting that there was a lot of illegal dumping behind their stores. You are supposed to store unwanted items until they can be properly disposed of – see information on that below.

Dumping in Parks

Bewdley Dump Nov 2016
Bewdley Dump Nov 2016

Jason Johns, Facilities Manager for the Town of Cobourg said: “Unfortunately illegal dumping is occurring in all of Cobourg’s parks and we see everything from construction materials, freezers being emptied, and daily small grocery bags filled with household waste.”

Why people are dumping

According to the Town’s announcement, “most illegal dumping is done to avoid paying disposal fees at landfills or failure to take the time and effort to dispose of items properly.”


As well as Parks, common areas for dumping may include vacant properties, alley ways, commercial dumpsters and along the roadside.

Damage caused

Dumping causes devaluation of property, health hazards and stormwater pollution. Items dumped can wash debris and pollutants into the storm drain system, causing flooding, clogged drains and damage to fish, wildlife and plants downstream. 

Typical illegal dumped items

  • Household garbage
  • Construction and landscaping debris
  • Tires and automotive parts
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Used oil and chemicals (such as paint or oil)


Chief Paul VandeGraaf of the Cobourg Police Service said:

“Our citizens and businesses are fed up with illegal dumping and we are pleased to work in tandem with the Town of Cobourg and Northumberland County to address the critical need to take legal action against illegal dumping,”

How to Report Illegal Dumping

Citizens can help by reporting illegal dumping. Phone the Northumberland County Hotline at 1-866-293-8379 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Try to provide as much information as possible, such as the location of where the materials were dumped, vehicle description and license plate number and a personal description of the violator.

Legal Disposal

As well as curbside pick-up of garbage, recyclables, food waste (Green Bin), and leaf and yard waste, the County also accepts a range of items at CRCs:

  • Electronic waste
  • Styrofoam
  • Bulky plastics
  • Tires
  • Dry wall
  • Scrap metal
  • Freon-containing items
  • Leaf and yard waste.

Community Recycling Centres

According to the Town’s announcement:

Restrictions will be in place at all CRCs to protect the health and safety of staff and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes modified operations from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as follows:

  • Bewdley CRC: open Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays as of April 27
  • Brighton CRC: open Monday to Saturday as of April 29
  • Seymour CRC: open Wednesdays and Fridays as of May 1 

Fees and directions here ]

Other restrictions will include limiting the number of vehicles entering the premises at one time, and limiting payments to debit and credit card only. Please note that while Household Hazardous Waste and clothing are also part of the County’s waste diversion programs at CRCs, these materials are not being accepted during COVID-19. Residents are asked to store these materials until the CRCs resume normal operations.

With current public health direction that people stay home as much as possible, Northumberland County strongly encourages residents to limit trips to the CRCs to essential waste disposal only at this time. If you have capacity to store items at home, please do so until CRCs return to normal operations.

One Free Bag of Garbage per Week

Northumberland County would also like to remind citizens that in response to COVID-19, households will be permitted to put out one free bag of garbage per week on their regularly-scheduled collection day until May 29, 2020. A maximum two-bag limit per week per household remains in place. County Council will continue to assess whether an extension beyond May 29 is required.

There is currently no way to dispose of hazardous goods or large items (like furniture) – we are asked to hold on to these items until the Covid-19 crisis is over.  Also, the beer store in Cobourg is currently NOT accepting return of beer and LCBO bottles.

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31 May 2020 8:11 am

so you can buy tags on line now from the county but they want a $2.50 shipping and handling charge
that is outrages

Mrs. Anonymous
26 April 2020 1:14 pm

Judging by the agenda at the next council meeting, dumping will be the least of our concerns.

Holy police state over reach. Tell me, will these by law officers searching your home be wearing brown shirts?

It’s just wrong on so many levels.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
26 April 2020 3:02 pm

Do you mean items such as “4.2 Authorized Staff may, at any reasonable time, enter and inspect all lands, buildings structures or parts thereof that are subject to this By-law for the purposes of determining compliance with this By-law.” and “Every person who is required by an Officer to provide identification under Section 4.6 shall identify themselves to the Officer, giving their correct name, date of birth and address shall constitute as being sufficient identification.”?

We must dispense with silly ideas such as sanctity of the home, reasonable cause and warrants! This must be some of the stuff that the ECG has been deciding. Did you wonder why the ECG meets in secret and without representation from Council or residents?

Mrs. Anonymous
Reply to  Ken Strauss
26 April 2020 3:42 pm

That’s exactly what I meant.

People should be alarmed that a town council in Canada would even consider this piece of Stasi inspired crack down.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
26 April 2020 4:22 pm

If you’re unhappy tell your Councillor! Their contact info is at Before you ask, yes, I have.

Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
27 April 2020 11:50 am

People should be alarmed that Cobourg’s lunatic fringe takes this opportunity to air their Nazis and Communist – under-my-bed paranoia.

Reply to  Curmudgeon
27 April 2020 4:38 pm

Aside from the lack of a demonstrated need and a “rush to legislate”:
– this “temporary” by-law does not have an expiry date/sunset clause.
– it duplicated existing provincial statutes and,
– worst of all, it is likely in conflict with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Canada’s “master” law which trumps all others). Specifically sections 9 &10 dealing with “detention” and what your rights are if the police question you or ask for (demand) information such as identification.
Welcome to the slippery slope.

Reply to  Bryan
28 April 2020 9:47 am

The ‘slippery slope’ is undermining public confidence in our police officers and our democratically elected Council during the current health emergency.
Calling the police Nazis and Council Communist secret police inspired is way down at the bottom of that slope.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Curmudgeon
28 April 2020 10:43 am

You should learn the role of dissidents Cursmudgeon. The slippery slope is for rushed and flawed legislation. That’s where bad ideas slide down into oblivion. Presenting rushed and flawed legislation is definitely not a public confidence builder. Dissidents are part of the public confidence building exercise of democracy. All you have presented is a trivial and petty whine about the overreach of a mere analogy or metaphor, Stasi, Nazi, Commie, etc.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Curmudgeon
28 April 2020 11:07 am

I’m more alarmed by a Council presenting rushed and flawed legislation. I’m more alarmed by individuals denouncing dissidents who are pointing out the flaws. Democracy in action. And lo and behold, the Bylaw gets tabled. Looks like the dissidents helped Council build public confidence. The so-called lunatic fringe saved Cobourg from rushed and flawed legislation that would have done harm to public confidence.

John Draper
Reply to  Ken Strauss
26 April 2020 6:04 pm

Maybe my eyesight is failing when I read the proposed bylaw but it clearly states that it applies only to public spaces and public property. Personal residences are not public spaces or property. Did I miss something?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  John Draper
26 April 2020 6:24 pm

John, I seriously doubt that your eyesight is worse than mine! Perhaps I am taking things too literally but:

2.4 Property Owner/Managers shall take reasonable measurers to
ensure compliance with section 2.2 by:
a) Limiting the number of people allowed on their property;
b) Ensuring that the distancing measures specified in section
2.2 are being enforced on their property; and
c) Ensuring that persons who refuse to comply with section 2.2
are promptly asked to leave their property and are reported
to the Town of Cobourg Authorized Staff upon failure4 Property Owner/Managers shall take reasonable measurers to ensure compliance with section 2.2 by:
a) Limiting the number of people allowed on their property;
b) Ensuring that the distancing measures specified in section
2.2 are being enforced on their property; and…

I think that it is clear that this is meant to apply to private rather than public property. Consider that authorized staff can enter public properties at will so if the intent is that things only apply to public places then there is no need for the bylaw. The proposed bylaw is either extremely sloppily worded or is extreme over reach.

Please explain why I’m misinterpreting things.

John Draper
Reply to  Ken Strauss
26 April 2020 6:29 pm

Property Owner/Managers are defined as managing a Public space.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  John Draper
26 April 2020 6:37 pm

OK, then that begs the question of what is a Cobourg example of a Public Space that is private property and not a restaurant or mall or gym or… since those are already closed by the Province? It must be an enclosed area rather than a parking lot since the bylaw mentions “enter”, “buildings” and “structures”.

John Draper
Reply to  Ken Strauss
26 April 2020 6:44 pm

How about a supermarket or drug store or other allowed store – these are public spaces.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  John Draper
26 April 2020 6:48 pm

Why is it necessary to have a bylaw to allow authorized persons to enter a public space? By definition a “public space” can be accessed by anyone. If entry is denied to the public then it is not a public space.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  John Draper
26 April 2020 6:27 pm

That was my assumption and still remains so, however there is some problematic wording “enter and inspect all lands, buildings structures or parts thereof”. There is a pinch of ambiguity here that should be clarified with the explicit exclusion of personal residences..

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Wally Keeler
26 April 2020 6:32 pm

Wally, there is more than a “pinch”! If the bylaw applies to only public spaces then there is no need for a bylaw since authorized persons can enter public spaces at will.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 April 2020 12:25 pm

Off topic Ken – harks back to a comment you made on “if you were comfortable this last while – think again about the future – this will all have to be paid for” – the giveways. Trudeau continues to award amounts to anyone he can think of. John Tory in the City is now handing out cell phones and free internet indiscriminately. I had disagreed at the time but have come to your point of view. Only the very lowest of incomes will escape the tax claw backs that will apply for years to come. Young people will pay increased tax rates for their working lives along with their OSAP loans, people in the middle will lose their retirement savings and the already retired may want to investigate different brands of cat food. Just wanted to tell you your original comment was right on about increased taxes in years to come.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Observer
29 April 2020 2:10 pm

the already retired may want to investigate different brands of cat food

I¨ve located a few squirrel recipes Victoria Park is very nearby and can provide a lot of protein. Although there will be competition from our neighbourhood fox.

Ontario teachers will be secure and well-off. Ron Mock, CEO of the Ontario Teachers Fund said last year, “China’s a long game from our perspective and while there’s always skirmishes of one kind or another, in the short term, we believe that it’s absolutely necessary to be there.

What skirmishes? The imprisonment of millions of Uyghurs in re-education camps. Invasion and occupation of Tibet. The organ harvesting industry for transplants; organs come from Falun Gong and other dissidents. Thousands of state approved executions per year. The list goes on, but, what is the priority here? Maximizing the return on investment of course – increased wealth for our Ontario teachers. Will they educate our children that $$$$$ takes priority over basic human rights.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
29 April 2020 4:20 pm

Wally I gather you meant “a few squirrel recipes” as a humourous rejoiner! Ha, ha. Remembering back to stories my parents told – the Great Depression – the only time one family saw meat was when a jack rabbit was bagged with the family shot gun, unfortunately buck shot came with the meal – the other “enjoyed” sheeps’ head stew – being young they thought it delicious, or perhaps it was the result of a good cook – watching it bob up and down as the stew cooked was an added pleasure.

Reply to  Observer
29 April 2020 3:27 pm

Plague exists in two forms bubonic–and pneumonic. Differing in its mode of infection, the body is infected by a minute* organism that attacks the lymph glands, which swells and produce pus. No one in the 1300 suggested exterminating the rodent population, or give a thought to the fleas on the rats and rodents infected with the bacilla sucking the blood of all infected rodent : chipmunks, squirrels, prairie dogs etc… the fleas are breeding in mud and feasting on blood. The rodent dies the flea must seek another host or leaves earlier. Pneumonic plague doesnt require the help of the flea it can be transmitted man-to-man. Today we have better hygiene , civil authorities adopt by -laws to forbid closeness and spreading…. but we are not limited by its duration, floods or other unresolved mysteries of epidemiology. And as we all heard of the Black Death ended almost suddenly as it had begun. No one knew why…

*.- Microorganisms are minute organisms of microscopic dimensions, too small to be seen by the eye alone. To be viewed, microorganisms must be magnified by an optical or electron microscope. The most common types are viruses, bacteria, yeasts.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
26 April 2020 5:50 pm

So if uncle John in Baltimore wants to visit his brother in Cobourg, is he forbidden to enter his brother’s home. If uncle John goes to the back door and enters to sit at the end of kitchen table and the brother sits at the other end near the fridge, where he can get a beer and slide it down to the other end. So a neighbour snitch sees uncle John go in the back door and tells. The authorized personnel have the power to enter to ensure the 2meter reg. If they have that power, then it is incumbent upon the authorized personnel to be wearing protective hazmat suits when they do so. The uncle and brother don’t know if any of those authorised personnel are asymptomatic carriers and likewise the authorized personnel don’t know if the brothers are asymptomatic carriers. And if state strangers come to enter a home, then they should have a medical certification that the authorised personnel is covid-free on that very day of intrusion.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
26 April 2020 8:35 pm

WHEREAS the World Health Organization has declared a worldwide pandemic regarding the Novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19 Pandemic);

I’m not entirely comfortable with the municipality providing any amount of credibility to the WHO. It would be better if our Canadian national credibility (such as it is) was referred to rather than the WHO. Health Canada, Health Ministry, something like that, but not WHO. And “worldwide pandemic” is redundant. Pandemic says it all and a Canadian national institution can declare that.

Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
27 April 2020 10:23 am

Could someone explain why this Bylaw goes into the detail it does?

The province has already passed social distancing legislation. If the Town wants to implement fines for violations of provincial legislation, all it should need do is reference the provincial legislation and the fines in the Bylaw.

While I agree that federal and provincial legislatures need to act in the public interests by restricting our movements during a pandemic, I have difficulty accepting that municipal politicians can pass a Bylaw which violates our fundamental rights and freedoms under the Constitution.

Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
28 April 2020 10:39 am

Glad to see that Council, led by concerns that Adam Bureau had, decided to “table” the Bylaw effectively killing it. Council is always at its best when it engages in a full discussion and debate of the issues.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
28 April 2020 10:53 am

If they passed that rushed and flawed Bylaw, it would have undermined public confidence in the Council. Thank you to all the dissidents who pointed out the flaws and the implications of such flawed legislation. Cobourg Council earned a ton of public confidence by the action it took as a result.

24 April 2020 1:01 pm

I have never live in a place that I had to pay for Garbage pickup over and about my taxes. The garbage service in this community is the poorest I have seen. When you have any thing that will not accommodate the schedule or will not be picked up, you have a 25 minute drive one way to get rid of it. Don’t forget the personal cost of having driving an 1 Hr, time and gas. They are just opening the dumps again, but limited days and hours. The federal government is paying 75% of employees salaries, get them back to work. Last year I put out leaf bags on a Monday and many times they were not pickup in that week. The town answer was, “it a busy time.” It is the same every year. The municipality starts green pickup to late in the season and it is only once a month. I live in Cobourg and our first pickup is in the middle to late May. We start cleaning our yard in early April. I already took a full load of stuff to the dump at the end of April. With this schedule you find broken bags, stuff just left on the boulevards, that make the town look messy. Green pickup should start first of May and be every two weeks. Other times of year there should be special drop off points in town. Make it easier for people to do the right thing. We all pay taxes.

Reply to  Jim
26 April 2020 1:38 pm

Jim, I keep meaning to email the ‘county’, to try and find out why there is no ‘leaf’ pick-up in Area 2 in April? There are quite a few bags out, in our Pebble Beach area (area 2) and have been out for 2 or 3 weeks now!

Reply to  Ken
27 April 2020 9:12 am

The calendar sent by the County clearly gives the dates for all pick-ups. It’s not advised to put out bags of yard waste in advance because of the mess it creates. Amazing how many people see a few bags out up the street and figure they had better follow suit.

24 April 2020 11:54 am

Speaking of garbage, we all noticed and most of us picked up the contents of the Blue Boxes that the wind blew everywhere last Tuesday after that wind storm. Because the boxes have no lids stuff just exits and messes up the neighbourhood. At least with plastic bags, that didn’t happen. Plastic is not good, I know, so where are the lids for the BB’s for the windy town of Cobourg? Sturdy, possibly hinged, lids should have been included with the recycling boxes.

Reply to  Yvonne
24 April 2020 12:32 pm

Yvonne: lids for blue boxes, and grey boxes are available at the County Bldg for a cost of $3. ea.

Reply to  Yvonne
24 April 2020 12:38 pm

Why would be asking the town of Cobourg
I wish people would learn which level of government is responsible for things 🙄

Reply to  Mark
24 April 2020 12:42 pm

No one is asking the town of Cobourg. The comment reads “…lids for the BB’s for the windy town of Cobourg”. That’s all.

Reply to  JimT
25 April 2020 7:50 am

Sorry about that , cataracts are getting bad, getting harder to forus the ipad even with reading glasses . 😁

Reply to  Mark
25 April 2020 8:13 am

I sympathize for that. I now carry a big magnifying glass to the grocery store to read labels etc., and constantly enlarge the print on my internet display to make it readable.

Reply to  JimT
25 April 2020 3:15 pm

Last June , eyes were examined, was told eyes were health,
in December had another exam to get some new glasses , was told I had cataract in one eye,
2 weeks later saw surgeon and said it was both eyes now 😱
In January, they were looking at about 6 months , so who know when it will get done now

Reply to  Mark
26 April 2020 5:54 pm

Did your surgeon mention that after cataract surgery you are more susceptible to retinal detachment? (Mine did not). Read up on the signs like seeing flashes, floaters etc. Catching it early before a detachment is an easy laser fix. But, detachments can be a nightmare.

Reply to  Mark
24 April 2020 2:28 pm

Yes, and I contacted the county on Tuesday and have yet to get a reply.

Reply to  Yvonne
26 April 2020 1:50 pm

As per instructions that came with the bins, put the blue bin on top of the paper in the grey bin, even if the blue one is empty. presto!

Reply to  shaking-my-head
28 April 2020 12:10 pm

Shake away, my friend. We tried that, everything went flying. Empty recyclable plastic stuff is light, as in, no ballast. The higher you stack it, the easier it is for the gusts to catch it. Lids should have been provided at the beginning. Will get lids, thank you, Doug.

24 April 2020 11:07 am

Some people are just that way they like to crap in other peoples yards their dogs too .
The big question is Why did we close the Dumps at such a crucial time who’s bright idea was that . Have you ever been to the dump the Admin is hiding in a little shack well away from the public . that stay in their car or trucks and speak out the windows no different than a Drive through at Timmy’s yes it is they are farther apart and no one touches your
stuff . There is no social interaction taking place here believe me !
And that Phone number you posted for a By Law officer Good Luck with that
people dumping don’t work 9 to 4 wk days
If you see dumping taking place take a Picture and get a Lic. plate shot if you can
then hopefully the Police will do something if they are not to busy .

24 April 2020 8:50 am

As Ken mentioned, like Brampton, Oshawa had a popular and effective Spring and Fall pickup for other than household waste. Due to the current situation we are beginning to heal the environment and eliminating the many individual trips to the dumps would continue this urgent need…….and we do all pay taxes for garbage disposal…

Reply to  BrendaZ
24 April 2020 10:24 am

Yes, so did Oakville, Spring and Fall. You put your stuff out. eg. furniture one week-end , next week-end when the town came by to pick it up, at least 50% would have been picked up by folks driving by.

Reply to  Barb
24 April 2020 11:06 am

If your replacing things like Mattresses and appliances , TV usually the
store selling you the goods has a recycle and take away program
some charge a nominal small fee some don’t
Ask be for you buy just be cause you get a product for a few dollars cheaper at one store it may not equal the cost of disposal that was provided by another Ask before you buy

Reply to  Barb
24 April 2020 11:50 am

As Ken mentioned Toronto has the same practice of “scrappers” – general members of the public picking up metal goods. They take them to Triple M, a metal scrap yard. And yes I used to work there too.

Out of Towner
24 April 2020 8:25 am

If you think that illegal dumping in town is bad, come on out to the Townships and see what we have to deal with on an ongoing basis. Our ditches are filled with fast food containers that originate from the towns. And our unmaintained roadways and secluded areas are littered with everything from renovation materials to tires and furniture and hazardous wastes. And since they closed the transfer stations, it has only gotten worse. This is a County-wide issue – and has been for a long time. It isn’t new. But it is suddenly a topic of interest only now that it seems to have impacted those in the Towns.

Rita Zeran
24 April 2020 8:16 am

Has anyone seen the property behind the restaurant “Shuck It” at 92 King Street West – it looks worst than the city dump, old mattresses, etc. It’s a total disgrace to our beautiful downtown. We’ve contacted the city officials but so far have not heard from anyone. The landlord should be responsible to clean up this mess, this is not only an eyesore but it’s also an health issue. It’s probably full of mice and rats and whatever else.

Reply to  Rita Zeran
24 April 2020 2:14 pm

I’ll have to take another trip downtown. If the business is dumping certainly. If not they should not be penalized, should have immediate response for pick up without charge. I thought what brave souls when Shuck It opened up. Seafood – perishable, for anything prepared frozen experience required. Just opened before this happened, no time to build repeat clientele. How heartbreaking if citizens are piling their garbage there during these times . Owners started with expectations and pleasure and hope for their new enterprise. Add-on – The Landlord – at first understood Shuck It was buying the building, however this may not be accurate – perhaps they rent. The two apartments above have been empty for some time, advertised on Kijiji – so where did the mattresses come from? So as above for whomever the Landlord is. Private owners should only be responsible for their own – dumpers sorry taxpayers but their mess would have to be hauled away at taxpayers’ expense.

Reply to  Rita Zeran
24 April 2020 4:28 pm

Rita – took a look at the mess your describe. Appears to be illegal dumpers from placement – far back and content, not immediately behind 92 King.

24 April 2020 6:01 am

If people did not dump illegally
The cost of sending municipal and county workers would be eliminated to clean up the mess
The need for having the services of police or by-law officers to watch known dumping sites would be saved
Tipping fees would be gained in the garbage facilities
If people did not illegally dump in commercial bins meant for stores apartments tipping revenue would be gained
Perhaps then large pick up could be offered to ordinary citizens to some degree
Too bad we have to have garbage as citizens that do these things. Meeting ones civic responsibility is foreign to people that commit these acts. Have noticed people from a new division illegally accessing commercial bins and noted them travelling back to their brand new homes after dumping in these bins. What does a 200 pound canary say? CHEAP!

23 April 2020 3:22 pm

So much of our waste disposal process here seems to assume that everyone has a car. If you don’t own a vehicle or have a friendly neighbour who does, your options in disposing of appliances and furniture of any size, scrap building material or hazardous materials are about zilch. That doesn’t excuse illegal dumping, but is a factor in the lives of many of us.

Reply to  JimT
23 April 2020 6:24 pm

You can always hire someone to take your stuff away
Maybe we need more cctv installed

Deborah O'Connor
Reply to  Mark
23 April 2020 9:36 pm

Low income people can’t afford to simply “hire somebody”. We used to have one day a year to put our irregular junk out for a special pick-up, maybe we should ask our County Council to bring that service back.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
23 April 2020 9:48 pm

When I lived in Brampton 50 years ago scrap collectors cruised the streets nightly and anything metal would be picked up within hours of placing it on the sidewalk. Perhaps Cobourg should try that approach. It would solve a problem at no cost to the taxpayers and provide a source of income for some enterprising collectors.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
24 April 2020 12:36 pm

Thank you Deborah.