A Port Hardy resident found and photographed a large pile of garbage illegally dumped just meters away from the Quatse River.
The concerned resident, who requested to remain anonymous, said he found additional garbage dumped half a kilometre away from the first dump site he had spotted on Jan. 30.
Some of the garbage spotted includes old couches, electronics, mattresses, shoes, clothes, and other miscellaneous household items.
“It is just disgusting,” said the resident, adding, “There were old paint cans left there and if those had leaked into the river it could have been bad for the salmon.”
The garbage piles are located on what appears to be a logging road south of the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre and Pioneer Inn, which connects with Byng Road and runs parallel with the Quatse River.
The resident said he didn’t initially know who to report the illegal garbage dump to, and so he first contacted the District of Port Hardy to notify them, but he was told it wasn’t in their jurisdiction.
He said he then contacted DFO, where he was told that since the garbage was located near freshwater, he should report it to the Conservation Officer’s Service RAPP line (Report All Poacher’s and Polluters).
Alison McCarrick, Chief Administrative Officer for the District of Port Hardy, said the site in question may be private property and is in the Regional District of Mount Waddington’s (RDMW) jurisdiction.
“It’s troubling when you hear some of the stuff is paint cans, because for one thing if you bring that to the landfill and the recycling depots, there’s no charge for that,” said Patrick Donaghy, RDMW manager of operations.
“Chances are if the materials are things like metal, electronics, or appliances, there are no tipping fees,” said Donaghy, adding, “It is discouraging when you see people dumping that because it’s strictly laziness.”
Donaghy said the Regional District handles illegal dump sites on a case-by-case basis. “Periodically, the Regional District works with like-minded groups to organize illegal dumping cleanup days and it may be, if this is on the rise again, we will have to see if there is an interest within the community itself for volunteers to go out and clean these things up.”
He also noted if someone wants to clean up an illegal dumpsite themselves, they can contact 7-Mile Landfill prior to dropping the material off to have the tipping fees waived.
A statement on the RDMW’s website explains that “The RDMW is not responsible for the clean-up of illegal dumps, but encourages the public to let the Manager of Operations know about them, with photographs and locational information.”
It asks the public to inform Donaghy if they have more information and he will determine “if anything can be done with that information by the RDMW or the Conservation Officer Service.”
To report illegal dumping, please call the RDMW at 250-956-3301.