Over 13,375 kilograms later, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and various community partner groups have finished cleaning three illegal dump sites in Salmon Arm, Scotch Creek and Sicamous.
The latest one took place Oct. 1, along the 110 Forest Service Road, which accesses the new Rubberhead mountain bike trail system.
“The Shuswap Trail Alliance Bikers were the CSRD partners at this one,” says CSRD waste reduction facilitator Carmen Fennell. “This was the largest site we tackled this fall, and we were able to remove over 9,000 kilograms of waste.”
The Scotch Creek/Lee Creek and Anglemont volunteer fire departments were out in force for the second cleanup to help the Shuswap Naturalists and the CSRD with an illegal dump site on the Scotch Creek Forest Service Road.
“We spent the day, it was a real mess,” says Fennell. “We collected over 2,500 kg of waste.”
Fennell says the CSRD appreciates community groups willing to put in time to help clean up these illegal dump sites.
“We donate all the gear and the vehicles to remove the waste, but it really only happens when groups offer to give us a hand.”
The Sicamous Eagles helped with the first one on Old Sicamous Road where they picked up 1,775 kilograms of waste.
Illegal dumping of any kind is an offence under the Environmental Management Act, and anyone witnessing an offence is asked to report it to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.
The CSRD is in the process of completing an illegal dumping bylaw that will give ticketing authority to the CSRD. If adopted, the regional district will have the tools to penalize those who pollute.
“If the public travelling the back roads witness someone illegally dumping, we encourage them to make a call and report it. It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s up to all of us to stop this kind of activity,” says Fennell.