A Kelowna hiker is furious about illegal dumping on trails in Southeast Kelowna.
Kerry Leong frequently walks along Gulley Road to the trails above the neighbourhood, and recently came across bags of household garbage dumped there.
"What kind of people do this?" asked Leong.
"When I walked by again, my anger got the better of me, so I decided to check if there was any mail in the trash – and sure enough there is."
We've cropped the name and address out of the photo Leong shared of personal mail showing the possible source of the trash – a home on Macquinna Road, not far away in the Hall Road area of East Kelowna.
Perhaps the shaming might be enough to get the litter bug to stop. If not, there's always the potential fines to consider.
According to the Regional District of Central Okanagan, illegal dumping is costly to clean up and can result in fines of $100 under the Solid Waste Management Regulation Bylaw and up to $2,000 under the Offence Act.
Not only is illegal dumping unsightly, it can create wildfire and other environmental hazards.
Yard waste and grass clippings are like tinder in our dry forests. Broken glass beverage containers are also a fire concern.
Wildlife can be harmed by consuming plastics, oils and other garbage. And chemicals, battery fluids and other hazardous wastes can seep into soil and watersheds.
"The cost to have illegal dump sites cleaned up (including the fuel and the hourly wages to drive the back roads) to taxpayers far exceeds the few dollars for taking the material to the landfill for proper and safe disposal," the district says.
It's free to take yard waste to the landfill, and it costs only $2.50 per bag of garbage or $10 for up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of waste. Appliances cost $8 each to drop off for disposal.
If you find an illegal dump, here is who to contact:
On Crown lands:
Waste Reduction Office - 250-469-6250
On private lands:
Bylaw Enforcement - 250-469-6211
On Highway right of ways:
Ministry of Transportation