Illegal dumping on Gypsy Lane continues

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It’s not a new problem, but it certainly is a growing problem. Illegal dumping on the Gypsy Lane trail in Winchester’s south end has become so problematic that it is certainly not the doing of just a few individuals. Rather, it would appear that many individuals have now decided to use the ditch along the trail as a place to dump garbage without paying any fees. The result is the destruction of the beauty of one of Winchester’s most popular hiking, biking, and dog-walking trails. 

Garbage in the ditch of the Gypsy Lane trail near Belanger Road. Photo by Pam De Vries.

A photo taken by local resident, Pam De Vries, shows the extent of the problem in one section of the trail, east of Winchester and close to Belanger Road. The garbage littered around paints the picture of disgruntled residents who are angered when those working their garbage route refuse to collect extra bags beyond the established limit. This is speculation of course, but it is nevertheless one strong possible explanation of how a beautiful trail has been turned into an ad hoc landfill. 

Other sections of the trail – including the stretch west of St. Lawrence St. that extends to County Road 31 – are littered with trash as well. It’s not just standard household trash in bags. Larger items such as furniture can be found as well, as can some chemical waste such as paint cans.

Perhaps the most troubling part of finding garbage along Gypsy Lane is the simple fact that the Boyne Road Landfill is so close by. For 5 minutes of driving and a small fee, the trash could have been disposed of properly. Why the disrespect for our own recreational areas?

It’s possible that the illegal dumping is not being committed by local residents, but rather by people from outside of the Township. However, this seems unlikely due to the magnitude of the problem. Instead, the best explanation is that Gypsy Lane has become a well-known location where one can dump excess trash for free with little chance of being caught. Suggestions have been made of putting up trail cams in the area to catch any illegal dumping in progress. 

The Township was contacted for information on plans to address the Gypsy Lane trash problem, including steps to enforce bylaws, and any plans for cleanup. However, the Times’ inquiry was redirected, and a response was not received from the relevant department head by deadline. Any updates that are received will be reported in the next issue. In the meantime, it may be up to community-minded volunteers to restore Gypsy Lane to its former beauty. The only question is: How long will it last?

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