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People treat compost pile as their personal landfill

People are treating the Town of Fort Macleod's compost site as their personal landfill, saving the time and expense of a trip to the regional landfill at Woodhouse. Furniture, construction material and other garbage is dumped in the organic matter.

People are using Fort Macleod’s compost pile as their personal landfills.
Furniture, fence posts, concrete and all manner of garbage is being dumped at the site.
The growing problem is costing residents money, and keeping the Town of Fort Macleod public works crew from more important duties.
“We have to to clean it up and haul it away,” public works foreman Barry Campbell said. “We’re not getting our other work done.”
Last week the public works crew pulled wicker chairs, wooden stools and other garbage from the grass clippings, leaves and other organic matter that is used to make compost.
At other times the crew has found oil cans, rocks and concrete blocks in the organic matter.
“We have to clean up that site every two weeks,” Campbell said.
People are also dumping garbage bags full of grass and leaves at the site instead of emptying the bags. That means the public works crew has to empty the bags and dispose of them
“It’s time-consuming,” Campbell said of cleaning out the garbage from the organic material.
Campbell said people are dumping their garbage at the compost site, which is not monitored, to save the time and expense of hauling it themselves to the regional landfill at Woodhouse.
“They say everybody else does it so they do it too,” Campbell said.
Another issue at the site involves landscaping companies and arborists dumping huge tree branches at the site, which is intended for residential use.
“We can’t keep up with chipping it,” Campbell said.
Due to the volume of tree branches, the public works crew has had to haul the material to another site where it is burned in the fall.
That has resulted in complaints from residents when the smoke drifts back into town despite the crew’s best efforts to do the burning on calm days.
Council at present is considering the issue, with shutting down the site a possibility.