Mount Doug Park is a Greater Victoria staple, known for an expansive beach and 360-degree views from the top of the mountain.
However, a local resident who uses the park regularly says there is a a big garbage problem at the park during the summers and weekends.
Dale Rasmussen feels that the problem is most noticeable at the parking lot and nearby picnic area off Ash Road.
People leave their garbage out because they can’t get it into the “weird garbage cans,” he says. The cans are designed to have a small opening to put refuse into and most things won’t fit so park-users simply leave their trash next to the bins.
Rasmussen has lived in the area for five and a half years and walks his dog through the park regularly. He’s noticed the problem gets worse every summer.
“It’s a shock and an eyesore,” he says.
Rasmussen feels that that the city can come up with a creative solution to help people deal with their garbage better. He filed a complaint to Saanich Parks and Recreation, but hasn’t heard anything back.
Andrew Burger, manager of parks operations, says that they did receive an email complaint about Mount Doug Park on Sunday night and that a staff member was sent out to deal with the problem the next day.
“We are going to be assessing our more popular spots such as Beckwith Park, Gyro Park and Mount Doug Park to provide extra garbage cans,” says Burger.
They try to deal with the excess garbage issues in the summer by having more staff and trucks in rotation, he says, but they need access to more resources to better handle the problem.
Burger and his team have also noticed that the bins are frequently empty and the garbage has been thrown nearby rather than in the bin.
Rasmussen acknowledges that park-users who leave their garbage out aren’t blameless. People should’t leave a mess, he says, but he feels the design of the bins plays a role in the garbage problem.
Burger says the bins in question extend underground to hold more garbage so that the bins don’t need to be emptied as often. He also points out that they are only meant for “general park litter.”
Saanich Parks and Recreation works hard to avoid the dumping of household garbage and the small openings in the bins help with that, Burger explains.
“We try our best,” he says. “but even with more options, people don’t always use the garbage bins.”
Rasmussen is hopeful that something will change at Mount Doug Park.
“We love our park,” he says.
If a garbage issue arises, park-users are asked to call the parks service line at 250-475-5522 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.