Someone dumped metal drums filled with an unknown substance at locations throughout Langley last week.
On Wednesday, the Township fire department called a dangerous goods handling company to haul away several sealed drums that had been dumped at 256 Street and 24 Avenue.
On Thursday, the Township fire department was called to retrieve two sealed 45-gallon drums at 232 Street, near 64 Avenue, near the Salmon River.
A couple more drums were found down the street on the same day. They have been sent for testing.
“We believe someone has been dumping these barrels around town; they are related,” said Township deputy fire chief Russ Jenkins.
“But all the drums we have found are sealed and not leaking.”
There is an organic matter inside mixed with soil and sand, but Jenkins couldn’t say if it is remnants of a meth lab. Because the barrels are sealed, they won’t know until test results are released. That could take a week.
Over the years, ditches along Langley’s rural roads have become a favourite spot for criminals dumping the toxic remains of meth labs. But in this case, said Jenkins, it’s not likely to be that.
If the metal drums are leaking, a different set of protocols is followed to make sure the contaminants are cleaned up, he said.
Illegal dumping in Langley Township has been a growing problem over the past few years as landfill fees increase. In April 2015, Township council approved spending $250,000 on an anti-dumping campaign that included adding one staff for a year to co-ordinate litter blitzes, to catch offenders, to review surveillance camera footage and to educate residents about dumping fees.
Last year, it is estimated illegal dumping cost Township taxpayers around $400,000.