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Rural residents getting dumped on
Several BX residents and local officials are tired of being dumped on, literally.
Substantial piles of garbage have been dumped just off Dixon Dam Road twice in the past couple of months. And in the upper Hartnell Road area there have been a couple recent incidents of animal carcasses being improperly disposed of.
“It’s an ongoing problem in our area,” said Mike Macnabb, Area C (Silver Star) director who represents the affected area residents. “And it’s not just there. Area B has problems in the Commonage.
“I have no idea why because the cost to go to the dump is so minimal.”
In the most recent incident, garbage dumped near an old pumphouse shed off Dixon Dam Road (in the 7000 block) contained evidence leading back to a City of Vernon residence.
The file has been handed to the Conservation Office, which oversees environmental violations. Fines for illegal dumping can reach up to $2,000.
“It’s an eyesore and it can be hazardous,” said Roy Morgan, RCMP Safe Communities regional crime prevention co-ordinator.
Morgan works with Block Watch neighbourhoods, who alert him to such illegal activity.
“It’s a lovely area and it shouldn’t be spoiled by a few careless people,” said Morgan.
Area resident Gerard Geelkerken is dismayed to see people are using his neighbourhood as a dumping ground.
“It happened before but not that frequent,” said Geelkerken, who has lived up Dixon Dam Road for seven years.
“There’s no need for it, it’s just regular house garbage.”
Along with the potential for attracting bears and other wildlife and impacting the environment, the refuse also poses a threat to domestic animals.
Geelkerken’s dog is routinely walked in the area and got into some of the garbage, digesting something which he says has left his pooch with a cough.
Those responsible for illegally dumping their garbage are also putting a burden on the region.
“They (Regional District of North Okanagan) have to pay their guys to come up here and clean it up which obviously comes back to the taxpayers,” said Morgan.
To avoid all these problems, Macnabb says the message is simple.
“Just don’t litter.”