Township of Langley: Don’t be an #idiot


Township of Langley, BC


The Township of Langley was battling a costly problem with illegal dumping in their community. With large rural areas, dumpers were able to remain largely anonymous, so there was little deterrent to their behaviour. Ion was tasked with finding a way to stop illegal dumping. What was it that made people feel that they could leave garbage and discarded furniture or building materials at the side of the road? Ion conducted 2 community engagement workshops to tap into the answers. Using personas of both offenders and residents, we asked participants to put themselves in these different peoples’ shoes and describe their motivations and emotions. Using images and words, participants suggested messages for offenders.

IDIOT: Illegal Dumper in Our Township Poster

IDIOT: Illegal Dumper In Our Township

Ion developed the attention grabbing acronym for Illegal Dumper In Our Township. After the program launched, dumping incidents dropped 10.6%. Eight sites were actually cleaned up by the public themselves. Significantly, in this small town, they reached almost 180,000 people through social media and received 95% positive feedback on a campaign which initially felt risky to the Township. It received media attention around Canada and the US. The Township is very happy with the results and the leadership they demonstrated in choosing this strategy.

IDIOT: Illegal Dumper in Our Township Sticker on abandonded couch
IDIOT: Illegal Dumper in Our Township lawn sign in front of a pile of old tires
IDIOT: Illegal Dumper in Our Township Tshirt
IDIOT: Illegal Dumper in Our Township ad on garbage truck