East Vancouver smells like shit.
Between West Coast Reduction's rendering plant on North Commercial, the vomit and urine streaking the sidewalks and alleyways after special events, and the epic piles of garbage, it's hard to argue that the east side of town smells like anything other than rancid death.
To wit, I present East Van Garbage Watch (patent pending): a semi-regular series of photos of disgustingness.
For today's entry, we look at data from the city of Vancouver to answer the question: how bad is the city's illegal dumping problem?
To me, a casual observer, "pretty fucking bad" seems like the correct answer—it's part of why I created East Van Garbage Watch in the first place.
But do my vague impressions accurately represent the severity of the city's trash tribulations?
For today's EVGW analysis, I looked at the city's 3-1-1 data from January to May 2015, specifically tracking the service's "Illegal Dumping/Abandoned Garbage Pickup" complaints.
Here is the resulting map based on complaints about dumping to 3-1-1.
Downtown Vancouver had the most individual reports of abandoned garbage (21), followed by Kensington-Cedar Cottage (20) and Kitsilano (18).
However, fully 60 percent of the reports (124) were from neighbourhoods in Vancouver's eastern half.
|Total number of reports
|West Point Grey
Shaughnessy, Vancouver's richest neighbourhood, has only reported four instances of abandoned garbage since the beginning of 2015.
Looking at the map, it's easy to find a few areas that seem to have less of a problem with illegal dumping than others.
Want to live a life completely devoid of illegal trash fairies? Try Killarney. Either there's no dumping happening in the neighbourhood or no one cares enough to report it to the city.
One last curiosity: it seems the Kitsilano Free Corner is officially dead; there's been not a single report of abandoned garbage at the corner of West 4th Avenue and MacDonald Street at all this year.
So, is Vancouver's illegal dumping problem better or worst than I assumed? I honestly don't know.
What I can say for sure is that Vancouver's 3-1-1 program works; the week after posting about this nightmare of an alley in my neighbourhood, the massive trash pile disappeared—and it's been clean ever since.
See a problem? Give 3-1-1 a jangle. Heck, there's even an app for it!
Previously on East Van Garbage Watch: Just your average filthy bus stop.
Have a Vancouver garbage photo you want to share? East Van Garbage Watch welcomes trash photos from anywhere in the City of Vancouver. Send photos via Twitter to @charenton_ or email email@example.com with the photo's location, date it was taken, and any other observations you may have.