Calgary neighbours complain about garbage piling up at vacant home in southeast

WATCH: Garbage day is a day full of unpleasant sights and smells, but some people in Calgary's southeast have been dealing with it every day. As Lisa MacGregor reports, the alley behind a vacant home has become a dumping ground and neighbours want it cleaned up.

The driveway behind a vacant home in southeast Calgary has become a dumping ground and neighbours are demanding the city have it cleaned up after weeks of complaints.

For Greg Gibson, it’s garbage day every day when he walks out of his backyard into the lane behind his home.

“You can smell it and it’s not very nice,” Gibson said. “ be nice to see it cleaned up and it stinks… it looks like a dumping ground, so more people dump stuff there.”

Gibson said the garbage has been piling up for eight weeks outside the vacant, boarded up home in the Forest Lawn neighbourhood.

He said his family has reached out to the city several times but the heap is still there.

“The city came and then they said that they found needles and then they stopped and that was about three weeks ago and now, nothing’s been done,” Gibson said.

The home with the piles of trash on its driveway is where a middle-aged man died in a house fire in March of this year.

READ MORE: Man dies after suffering critical injuries in southeast Calgary house fire

Gibson said since then, no one has lived there.

“It would be nice if something got done to the house but the big issue here is all the garbage,” Gibson said.

The City of Calgary said any waste on a property is initially the homeowner’s responsibility but bylaw officers investigate any complaints.

“Hopefully, the property owner can get to it at that time. if they are unable to, then the officer will go back out, reassess it and if we have to send our own contractors in to get it cleaned up, we’ll do that,” Brad Johnson, inspector with the City of Calgary’s community standards department, said.

“If citizens that do call into 311 and find that they are not receiving service appropriately, they can always call back to 311 and either ask for an update information from the officer that’s looking after the file and if they still don’t hear back they can call back and ask for an escalation on that file.”

The city encourages neighbours to keep reporting if the garbage continues to pile up. In the meantime, officials say they’ll work to take care of the situation at this home.

“We’ll be able to get on that right away for the significant amount of waste that’s on there,” Johnson said. “We’ll make sure that’s being looked after as quickly as possible.”

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The city said if someone is caught dumping garbage illegally, they will be fined at least $500 and will have to clean it up.

Homeowners who see someone dumping garbage should report it to the Calgary police non-emergency line.

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