Timmins has really become a filthy area: local man wants city to get clean
TIMMINS -- Now that the snow is finally gone in Timmins, there's a layer of litter in many places around town that Rick Cecconi would like to see get cleaned up.
"Timmins has really become a filthy area. The litter is unbelievable. Businesses should have to step up to the plate, clean their lots," said Cecconi as he swept up debris along the Ontario Northland Railway trail. It's one that runs behind a number of eateries and businesses.
It's his second attempt this week, trying to clean the area up.
"Cause it's one of the worst places for litter in Timmins," he said.
Cecconi and his wife Debbie are avid walkers, and he says everywhere they go, they see all kinds of debris on both public and private properties.
The Timmins Chamber of Commerce launched a business community clean up initiative at the end of May, but as of June 2, only three businesses have registered and Friday is the deadline. All participants will have their businesses entered into a draw for a free staff lunch, sponsored by Newmont Porcupine.
"When things are clean, people feel better about themselves; they feel better about their businesses; it helps the business community," said Val Venneri, president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.
The city has a portal page on its website where people can file online complaints about illegal dumping, or dirty properties.
"We have been able to track down residents who throw like bags of garbage, cause sometimes there's evidence in there that allows us to find out who the property owner was, or who the garbage owner was, but it is difficult if you actually don't catch them in the act,“ explained Steph Palmateer, clerk for the City of Timmins.
Palmateer said since March 1, six charges have been laid against people dumping illegally on city lands.
And when it comes to discarded mattresses, the city has just started a new recycling pilot program.
"We have an exceptional amount of mattresses and box springs that enter our landfill, and we saw it as an opportunity to divert more materials from the landfill," said Christina Beaton, environmental coordinator for the city of Timmins.
"And they often wreak havoc on the equipment. They're hard to compact. Springs will get caught up in the equipment," said Beaton.
All mattresses and box springs will be accepted, but only clean ones will get recycled. There's a fifteen dollar charge per unit to cover the cost of the six-month program. Soiled or wet mattresses are not eligible for the program and will be directed to the landfill, but will be charged for processing.
Perhaps an old mattress that's been dumped off near the Gillies Lake Conservation area can be collected by volunteers since Cecconi has decided to relaunch a volunteer group he began in 2007 and ran for 3 years.
"I'm gonna reboot ‘TimminsGetClean’ a little bit; open up a Facebook section; hope we can organize a few small cleanups," he said.
Cecconi says if people want a cleaner city, then everybody has to do a little bit to make the city look better.