Although it opened without fanfare, the District Avenue Dump in Vaughan is the latest addition to York Region’s ground-breaking Do-it-Yourself waste disposal program. The initiative provides waste depots in neighborhoods so that residents and contractors can conveniently dump construction waste and pretty much anything else that has been mouldering in a suburban basement. These depots are always open from dusk till dawn, but some patrons have found that daytime drop-offs are just as convenient.
In addition to benefits for residents, these local dumps have dramatically improved insect and rodent populations in the area. With increased numbers of voles and rats, larger mammals such as fox and coyote are also thriving. This has in turn helped spur a larger than expected bird population. The overgrown farm fields at 16th Avenue and Dufferin now support turkey vulture, red-tail hawk, savannah sparrow and cedar waxwings along with the usual crop of starlings and house sparrows.
These renewed bird and mammal populations are expected to thrive at least until the corner field is turned into a new area shopping centre that will complement the one already located on the south side of 16th Avenue.
“These facilities seem to be opening in many parts of the Region” said Jade Austin-Smythe, an area resident. “There is even a special drive-through facility located all along 19th Avenue in Richmond Hill”.
So far demand for the depots has been steady but not overwhelming. In order to avoid line-ups, Austin-Smythe suggests residents contact the the regional solid waste management department to let them know exactly when and where you plan on dumping waste at these depots.
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