Spot behind local business turned into dumping ground

A business in the light industrial area west of Queensway is expressing frustration as a spot in behind the building is being turned into a dumping ground for unwanted junk and a magnet for troublemakers.

Erik Madsen of Fraser Plumbing and Heating said he and his co-workers have noticed a rise in the frequency and size of the messes found in the alley at the back of their 430 Third Ave. place of work.

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The trouble reached a new level in late April.

"We showed up one day and there was an entire trailer load of garbage dumped," he said.

The pace since then has continued with the biggest messes showing up on Mondays. It appears to be a combination of homeless people turning a space behind the dumpsters into a place to hunker down for the night and someone simply dumping unwanted junk at the spot.

Bike frames, a bi-fold door, a rusty frame for a patio umbrella, part of a stand for a bed along with an assortment of discarded daypacks, shoes and other items of clothing are among the refuse they have been find.

And, of course, needles, plenty of needles.

"We had well over a dozen needles and other drug paraphernalia dumped right in front of our dumpster," Madsen noted.

It's meant extra calls to the waste disposal company to get the dumpsters emptied and, on one occasion, a junk removal company was called in to clean up the mess, adding to the business' expenses. Neighbouring businesses have had similar troubles but not on the scale of Fraser Plumbing and Heating.

"It's probably because it's out of the way - I'm speculating of course - but we're in an alley downtown, the dumpsters are not quite against the fence, it's a little bit sheltered and [the alley gives] easy access from Cottonwood Island Park up to the downtown," Madsen said.

Either way, it's left employees like Stephanie Allen feeling worried for their safety.

"I walked back there and there was a female coming out from behind the dumpster pulling up her pants or doing whatever," Allen said.

The city's bylaw services department, the Prince George RCMP and Northern Health's needle exchange have been contacted. With the help of security cameras, they have also been able to get video of the culprits who dumped a heap of junk at the spot earlier this week.

City spokesman Mike Kellett said bylaw officers are continuing to investigate and are asking anyone with information regarding the matter to contact the office by dialing 311.

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