News

Help needed to dump on illegal dumpers

This image of a load of trash dumped in a local farmer’s field is indicative of the type of activity going on far too often in Cowichan, according to CVRD enforcement manager Brian Duncan. - courtesy Brian Duncan
This image of a load of trash dumped in a local farmer’s field is indicative of the type of activity going on far too often in Cowichan, according to CVRD enforcement manager Brian Duncan.
— image credit: courtesy Brian Duncan

It is the annoying pimple of Cowichan’s cover girl face.

This blight on our landscape surfaces time and again on backroads, riverbanks, trails, deserted lots and dead-end streets, with no corner of the valley safe.

And Brian Duncan has had enough.

Duncan, the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s manager of inspection and enforcement, is fed up with the steady stream of garbage dumped in Cowichan and has reached out to the media in a bid to put a lid on the problem.

“There are many who call the Cowichan Valley home and do their best to recycle and dispose of their garbage at a local facility. I am one of them,” he said. “And there are those who don’t care.”

His plea was sparked by a recent incident at a Koksilah Road property where a gate was opened, a vehicle backed in and a load of trash dumped.

“This beautiful property belongs to a local dairy farm whose cows supply milk for lots of people in the calley. We don’t know who the garbage belongs to — yet. But we’ll find out soon enough,” he said.

But this case is hardly alone. He can produce picture after picture of similar incidents: a burning mattress on the banks of the Chemainus River, four neatly tied bags of leaves — free to dump at Bing’s Creek — left at the end of a road, piles of trash strewn across paths and service roads off Highway 18 near Hillcrest, off Riverbottom and on Mayo Road.

The public is urged to support officials in their bid to catch the perpetrators. It’s not always hard. Some of the dumpers are about as smart as they are lazy.

“In their haste to dump garbage, sometimes information is left behind which incriminates the perpetrator. We have found identification in the past and the owners have been ticketed,” he said.

Composting and recycling can be dropped free of charge, and garbage for as little as $5 at Bing’s.

If you’ve witnessed illegal dumping or want to report an illegal dumpsite, call the CVRD at 250-746-2500, or after-hours Bylaw Enforcement at 250-746-2600.

Fines range from $100 to $500.

“This is an issue which isn’t going to end any time soon.”

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