Protester who dumped garbage outside Kamloops city hall wants free dump day returned

Trash dumped at city hall

A Kamloops man who celebrated Earth Day by dumping a load of garbage in front of city hall says he wants to see the city make it easier for residents to get rid of their trash.

Brian-Arthur Alexander said he showed up at city hall shortly after 6 a.m. on Monday to drop off the load — which included a beat up couch and an old mattress, among other items.

“It was pretty straightforward — I just rolled up. I wanted to be as incognito as possible,” he said.

“I just rolled in and dropped it off.”

Willing to pay $500 fine

The items were among a haul Alexander tried to dispose of recently at the city’s Barnhartvale landfill. He refused after being told it would cost $60.

Alexander said he wrote a letter and sent it to mayor and council, warning he would dump the load on city property if his demands were not met.

He said his main goal is to see the city resume free dump days, something that was axed in 2020 after it was found to be counterproductive to city hall’s waste diversion goals.

“In my notice to the city, I said, ‘All you’ve got to do is bring back our free dump day,’” Alexander said. “Why would you take away our free dump day? All the sudden it was taken away.”

There is no secret about who was behind Monday's stunt and Alexander said he expects to be fined $500, which he said he would gladly pay.

“I’m willing to take the fine,” he said.

“In fact tomorrow I’ll probably go over to bylaw and volunteer to settle the matter. I’m not trying to create trouble for them — this is a protest.”

Free dump day called chaotic

The City of Kamloops scrapped free dump days following a vote by council in the summer of 2020, and the city manager in charge of waste disposal said very little noise has been made about it since.

Glen Farrow, the city's streets and environmental services manager, told Castanet Kamloops free dump days had become a chaotic mess before they were disbanded.

"There was just a big pile of mixed up garbage that was disposed of in the landfill, and it went against everything we believed in as it related to our diversion programs," he said.

"There were significant lines, customers weren't following direction. It was a very, very difficult thing to manage logistically from our end, as well."

Farrow said the program started with the intent of offering free tipping as a thank you to residents who helped to beautify the community, not just homeowners looking for a deal on dumping.

"What we saw it evolve to was people waiting to remove their roof and all their siding on their home for this one special day for free disposal," he said.

"We saw that on one hand, then on the other hand we also saw people waiting in line for an hour to dispose of a fairly small load. On average, I think the savings per customer worked out to less than $10 — it was a very, very small amount of savings if you look at it across the board."

Considering return to politics

Alexander, a former mayoral candidate who is known by many in the community for his pseudo-legal sovereign citizen beliefs, said the situation has him considering a return to politics.

“I may stand up on the apple box — if not provincial maybe federal, just to have a voice,” he said.

“It’s just to try to reiterate some of this stuff. It’s not fair.”

Alexander calls himself an environmental activist and said he’s looking out for the planet.

“It’s become an epidemic — people are dumping stuff in the back 40 wherever they can, and that’s wrong,” he said, suggesting a free dump day might reduce such illegal dumping. “We’ve got to be the change in society, as I see it.”

Alexander said he's not the only one upset. He denied any involvement in a stunt Friday in which a bag of poo was left at city hall, but said the incident shows a growing frustration.

"It's related, I mean people are getting fed up," he said. "I've thought of going there and actually shitting on the stairs if things got so bad."

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