A mattress that got dumped off of Duncan Bay Road. Maria Provenzano photo

Tiel’s Tales: Illegal dumpers, let’s be better

This completely unnecessary problem isn’t going away

A soggy mattress, stacks of water-logged plywood, a floating microwave.

Not the items you would expect to see on a walk in the woods. But that’s exactly what Campbell River resident Maria Provenzano discovered during a walk just off Duncan Bay Road this week.

Her neighbours say the area is commonly used as an illegal dumping site.

“There’s fresh garbage there all the time,” she says.

Illegal dumping is not new; it’s been a problem for awhile.

In 2011, we reported on the City of Campbell River’s continued battle to educate people around the dangers of illegal dumping, especially in a watershed.

Stories have continued to appear over time as volunteers clean out areas that have been dumped in. In 2015, a local who spent time on some of the surrounding back roads said illegal dumping was an “epidemic.” In 2016, around 25 people cleaned up “a mess along Duncan Bay Main and Iron River logging roads, up above the Canyon View Trail.”

“There is just a huge cost all around,” Environmental educator Luisa Richardson said at the time. “When people think this is the easy way out, they don’t realize how much the cost is on sustainability.”

In 2017, Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) began an Illegal Dumping Prevention Program that took aim at the problem using enforcement and education. A report on the program after its second year showed that progress was being made. The report, which covers between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, said that in Campbell River, reporting of illegal dumping has increased 83 per cent from when the program first began.

Between year one and year two of the program, the amount of illegal waste that was removed from CSWM’s service area went from 64.4 tonnes to 21.5 tonnes.

Data collected by CSWM suggests that the type of waste being disposed illegally hasn’t changed much. With “free items” taking up 26 per cent of the pie in 2018. This was followed by municipal solid waste (23 per cent), Recycle BC items (10 per cent), construction and demolition debris (10 per cent) and yard waste (nine per cent).

Some of the education pieces of the program are combating the notion that illegal dumping happens because of high tipping fees.

That soggy mattress from Provenzano’s walk? It’ll cost you $10 at a CSWM facility ($6 for the mattress and $4 to get into the facility.) The plywood? Construction and demolition debris weighing under 100 kg is $6 (plus that $4 access fee). Divertable wood waste is $120/tonne. And that floating microwave? It comes to a whopping $0.

So, dumpers, what gives?

Campbell River is widely known as a destination for nature lovers. So many locals enjoy spending time in the nature that surrounds us.

Let’s be better and keep our wilderness garbage-free.

If you see an illegal dump site, or witness someone getting rid of their trash, you can report it online, by calling toll free 1-800-331-6007 or 250-334-6000.

Just Posted

Antibody tests could be the next step in fighting COVID-19, Island doctor says

The blood test could show if a person is recovering or has recovered from the virus

Vancouver Island siblings keep busy, entertain the public with ‘bored board’

Board features jokes, drawings and even podcast recommendations

COVID-19: Victoria’s service industry hit hard by pandemic layoffs

Future uncertain for business owners, restaurant workers

Vancouver Island website puts together colouring book for families that are social-distancing

Nanaimo Beacon works with artists on No One is an Island project

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

Most Read