A North Westside woman tells Castanet she is extremely upset that someone dumped their appliances, full of spoiled food, outside an empty lot in Westshore Estates.
"It's very upsetting considering everything we've been through."
Heather Mill, like everyone else in Westshore Estates, was evacuated due to the White Rock Lake wildfire. The fire burned within a few hundred feet of her home. Because the power was lost, any food left behind spoiled and the regional district made arrangements for the appliances to be picked up.
"Somebody obviously missed that deadline and decided they were gonna ditch their appliances in front of someone else's lot so they didn't have to take any responsibility. Now the bears have knocked all the appliances over and gotten into the spoiled food and garbage that was in there," Mill says.
RDCO spokesman Bruce Smith tells Castanet they are aware of the situation and intend to clean it up.
"It’s disappointing that illegal dumping would happen, as we recognized as part of the recovery, that residents returning home would have issues with spoiled food, fridges, and freezers. That’s why we arranged the free scheduled curb side collection and additional self-drop off of fridges and freezers."
Mill says the sight and smell has left her and many neighbours re-traumatized.
"It's extremely disheartening every time I see it, it's like instant tears."
Mill says she is worried about the bears in the area, "those bears have nothing to eat in the forest right now so they are already looking for people's garbage.
"We have had very little problems with garbage bears since I moved here in 2015 and I would like to see it stay that way. But I am growing worried that this will change if people don't start thinking more about how to handle their waste."
The RDCO is also making arrangements for anyone impacted by the wildfire with a fridge or freezer for disposal and who missed the free drop-off/scheduled collection programs, to use the upcoming extended Bulky Household Item Collection at the North Westside transfer station during its regular operating days and hours Oct. 6 to 20.