The Cowichan Valley Regional District wants you to help them crack down on people who illegally dump their garbage in wilderness areas.
“While many Cowichan residents appreciate the community’s wooded areas as great places to go for a hike and explore nature, not everyone is treating these areas with respect,” says a release from Jason Adair, operations superintendent.
“Some residents are destroying these natural areas by using them as garbage dumps.”
So, starting with the Hillcrest Road area near Duncan – a ‘hotspot for dumping – the CVRD is launching a campaign to “highlight the problem of illegal dumping.”
The dumping doesn’t have to occur in the Hillcrest area, however, for citizens to get involved. The main message being beamed out by the CVRD is for people to report illegal dumping when they see it happening.
“Unfortunately, it is difficult to enforce fines without information that identifies the dumpers,” Board Chair Jon Lefebure said.
If people ‘safely document as much information about violators and their vehicles as possible” enforcement officials will stand a better chance catching them. People who witness illegal dumping are being asked to get:
• The exact location, date and time of the crime;
• The license plate number and a description of the vehicle involved;
• A detailed description of the person dumping.
This information should be reported to the Ministry of Environment’s 24-hour hotline (RAPP line) at 1-877-952-7277 (#7277 from cellphones). Anyone caught will be subjected to a $2,000 fine.
While citizens are being urged to keep an eye out, the CVRD will also be boosting its education and enforcement activities.
“Aside from asking residents to keep their eyes open and report identifying information, the campaign will also involve stepping up monitoring in hotspot areas and providing education about options for responsible waste management,” Adair says.
He also had a message to the perpetrators of wilderness dumping. It’s a no-win proposition.
“When the cost of driving out to these rural areas to dump waste is factored in, properly disposing of waste at one of the many public or private facilities is far less expensive,” Adair said.
“Given the affordability and accessibility of recycling facilities in our region, it is puzzling why people continue to dump their unwanted items in the woods.”
The Hillcrest dumping is particularly perplexing. Adair notes that the area is located just a few kilometres from the region’s main recycling facility, Bings Creek. “In many cases, the dumped items can be recycled for free or for a small fee just down the road.”
You can find out more at cvrd.bc.ca/stop-illegal-dumping.