People continuing to dump garbage in Okanagan forests

Hills filled with garbage

People are continuing to use area mountains as personal garbage dumps.

Conservation officers keep coming across dump site in what should be pristine wilderness.

North Okanagan CO Micah Kneller said garbage dumps can be found throughout the Okanagan.

“We would like to catch these guys, prosecute them and stop this dumping, but it's hard to prove unless you catch somebody in the act,” said Kneller. “It's like chasing smoke. There is so much of it all over the place. People need to take some pride in where they live and not dump their garbage like that.”
Not only is the garbage unsightly, but it can cause environmental damage and can be harmful to wildlife.

Recently two hulks of cars were removed the edge of the King Eddy Forest Service Road. One of the vehicles was burned out and was only one kilometre up the dirt road from Highway 6, while the other was several kilometres up the road and had been there for some time.

The burned out car had been at the side of the road for several months.

Kneller said there has been an increase in people dumping garbage in the woods.

It is not just a North Okanagan problem. Piles of garbage can be found on pretty much every forest service road in the Valley.

“It's really everywhere you go,” he said.

According to Kane Blake of the Okanagan Forest Task Force, illegal dumping is on the rise. The task force’s goal is simple, to work to keep forests clean and to bring public awareness to the issue of illegal dumping in local forested areas. A video posted to the task force’s Facebook group shows Blake pointing out, spent rounds of shotgun ammunition, shingles, insulation and dozens of garbage bags strewn across the wooded area along Postill Lake Road, behind the Kelowna International Airport.

“I haven’t even made it a kilometre in and I’m already absolutely disgusted,” Blake says in the video. “Literally everywhere I look is dumped yard waste, dumped garbage, wildlife swimming with garbage, streams that have burnt propane tanks sitting beside them.”

The Okanagan Forest Task Force was formed in August, 2016 by a group of outdoor enthusiasts who were concerned over the growing epidemic of illegal dumping in area forests, recreational areas and along natural waterways.

If anyone spots illegal activity in the woods, they are urged to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).

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