Rotary Club of Parksville AM members and community volunteers were back at Little Mountain over the weekend, this time with helicopters, helping to clean up the large amounts of illegally dumped garbage.
Little Mountain has been a site for illegal dumping for years, everything from household garbage, appliances, furniture, shopping carts, boxes and beds get tossed from the top of the mountain. The site, popular for sightseeing and checking out the views of Parksville, is located at the end of Little Mountain Road in Errington.
On May 5, helicopters were used to airlift the heavy garbage from the slopes, which was then dropped at the end of Bellevue Road where Rotarians and volunteers sorted the trash. Once sorted, the items will be taken to the Transfer Station on Church Road.
“Today is the last part of the project. We’ve done six sessions on the mountain now loading fertilizer bags and nets and ropes with all the garbage that’s sitting on the mountain,” said Bill Rawlins, Rotary Club of Parksville AM president. “The idea today is to helicopter it out. Kestrel Helicopters is donating the time and they’re going to take [the garbage] off the mountain.”
The cleanup has been a Rotary Club of Parksville initiative since October, after hearing about the copious amounts of garbage from Rotary member Jeff Grognet, who lives on Little Mountain.
Grognet organized a cleanup in 2009 and Rawlins said 10 years later the garbage has “built up and built up” again.
“There was garbage on the hillside there that was two feet deep, so we started in October, we’ve had five or six two-to-three-hour sessions on the hill,” Rawlins said.
Rawlins said they won’t be able to get all of the garbage off the hill in one day but that the club will continue cleanup efforts throughout the year.