Illegal dumping affects us all
In 2009 the T.N.R.D. conducted a clean up of numerous illegal dumping sites off Lindley Creek Road, utilizing volunteers who put in time and equipment and worked along with T.N.R.D. staff.
“We did a big clean up there,’” says Adriana Mailloux, Environmental Services Technologist for the T.N.R.D.
“We had a bunch of volunteers and a bunch of different sponsors, like Tim Hortons and Investors Group, the radio was there and we took out a bunch of garbage bins full of stuff.”
Unfortunately all too soon illegal dumping in these areas resumed with the resulting accumulations documented by local conservation officers in Merritt.
“Basically there is one thing in particular; a truck camper that was dumped and it is kind of laying on its side and we are kind of wondering if anyone has any information and if they could let us know,” says Paul Pike a local conservation officer.
“The dumping has been pretty much in the south west portions of the city so if you go up Mid-day Valley road and Lindley Creek Rd. about 4 or 5 k.m. in either direction people have been dumping off garbage,” says Pike.
“Usually with the spring time there is a resurgence in people dumping yard waste, but then that just leads to construction material and then people dump styrofoam, couches, car tires.”
“The mentality is usually that it is just branches or grass and stuff like that, but then the thinking goes, well I have paper and cardboard and that is made out of trees so that’s going to bio-degrade too’, so one justification leads to another.”
Pike does not believe that dumping has necessarily gotten worse since the T.N.R.D. has started charging people to dump their garbage at the dump in Lower Nicola, but that it is just a continuation of bad habits by a few lazy people.
“It has a lot to do with a person’s personality and if they are going to be doing it they are going to be doing it whether it is free; it is more that illegal dumping is more of a convenience to them,” says Pike.
“In the last week or two we have been keeping an eye out in these areas and we have been noticing it has been accumulating. This stuff effects the environment for sure; you have plastics and metals, and then some of theses computer monitors, old tvs that have different chemicals in them, and then truck tires that take forever to degrade and these are areas that people recreate in as well.”
But even with signs erected by the T.N.R.D. people are just ignoring them and doing as they please.
Illegal dumping is in no way a benign or victimless crime, affecting everything from animal habitats, rivers, and local tax rates.
If you see anyone involved in any suspicious activity you are asked to get a description of the vehicle and license plate number if possible and to notify the local RCMP or conservation offices.