Illegal dumping on the rise in Kelowna amid pandemic: forest clean-up group

Illegal dumping on the rise in Kelowna amid pandemic: forest clean-up group
Illegal dumping on the rise in Kelowna amid pandemic: forest clean-up group
Illegal dumping on the rise in Kelowna amid pandemic: forest clean-up group

Amid the foliage and natural beauty found around Kelowna’s many forested areas, piles of trash are also a common sight.

“Illegal dumping is on the rise at the moment and growing fast,” said Kane Blake of the Okanagan Forest Task Force.

“The task force’s goal is simple, working to keep our forests clean and to bring public awareness to the issue of illegal dumping and its impact on forested areas.”

The increase in dumping could be attributed to, as Blake describes them, “non-reputable haulers” commissioned for spring cleaning waste, but another likely culprit is the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blake said as the sequestered population finds themselves without much to do besides tidying their property, the wait at the landfill is getting increasingly arduous.

“We have been doing more yard work recently and spent about 35 minutes in the line up just last week,” Blake said. “A simple Facebook search shows lots of people looking to hire people for dump runs but the real question is how much of it is actually making it to the landfill.”

Amid the pandemic, the task force has had to halt its frequent clean-ups, but Blake is hopeful to get back to business relatively soon.

“I just hate to see our beautiful forests turning into landfills from ignorant people being too lazy to go to the landfill.”

Kelowna-based conservation officer, Terry Myroniuk, said now is usually the time of year they begin to see an increase in complaints about illegal dumping.

“Personally from what I’ve seen, it appears like about a 50 per cent increase,” said Myroniuk, adding he didn’t know the exact numbers.

Crown land and the back roads leading to it are the hardest hit, according to Myroniuk. Areas such as Beaver Lake Road, Postill Lake Road and Smith Creek Road, were three areas he mentioned specifically as popular spots.

A whole RV dumped in James Lake was recently reported to BC Conservation, said Myroniuk.

An old RV dumped at James Lake, leaking fluid into the water. (Contributed)

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO), which handles most of the clean-up and field complaints regarding improper dumping, said as the pandemic continues it’s been harder for them to send people to clean them up.

“Those that can be tackled, will be tackled as soon as possible,” said RDCO waste reduction facilitator Rae Stewart.

Stewart said the RDCO is counting on residents to report illegal dumping when they see it.

“People recreating in the bush, playing in the bush — those people are our eyes and ears,” she said.

The RDCO has an online reporting tool on its website that allows residents to remain anonymous. You can also call the waste reduction office at 250-469-6250.

READ MORE: Illegal dumping up Postill Lake Road in Kelowna

READ MORE: Kelowna woman hunts for golf balls nabbed off course by ravens

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

City of Vernon crews are responding to a small sinkhole on Lakeshore Road in Vernon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Contributed)
Sinkhole slows Vernon traffic

Lakeshore Road has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic Saturday

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Most Read