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Saturday, September 30, 2023
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Dumping grounds

Dumping grounds
The remnants of an old squatter's camp, along with piles of garbage. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Brad Dent has been picking up other people’s trash for 20 years.

The Prince Albert resident lives on the edge of the Nordale neighbourhood, with a large property bordering the open backcountry.

It’s from his Nordale home that Dent launches little solo expeditions into the bush, in an attempt to slowly clean up the mess that others have left behind.

In a quick five minute jaunt on his side-by-side, Dent comes across two such sites – one, a dumping site, he tries to clean, only to have the mess piled on when he returns.

“I just cleaned this,” he said.

He points to a few garbage bags tied up just off the ATV trail.

“These are new.”

While Dent takes pride in cleaning up the messes others have left behind, he’s growing ever frustrated.

While the city cleaned a large swath of land after the last few years’ forest fires, Dent said he’s had a difficult time recently getting any government body to help out.

Dent takes the side-by-side deeper in to the bush. Past a few large puddles and around a few fallen trees, he arrives on the motherload – an abandoned squatter’s camp, the inside burned out. There is garbage everywhere – food containers, cleaning supplies and dozens of mangled bicycles litter the earth. A short distance away, another pile of refuse lies, discarded.

Dent has been trying to work with the city. He said a worker came out, saw the work that needed to be done, work that far exceeded one man, and determined he couldn’t do it alone.