The issue of illegal dumping is piling up on Campbell River’s back roads and it’s only getting worse.
It’s becoming common along the logging roads surrounding Campbell River to find waste, such as food products, useless appliances, and animal carcasses tossed aside near entrances and forks in the road.
Not only is it unpleasant to look at, it’s also an environmental issue, as toxic products can poison local wildlife, rivers and lakes, and discarded game can attract larger animals, such as bears and possibly cougars, to waste sites and other populated areas.
Dumping continues despite obvious signs and postings, which warn of Campbell River’s Environmental Bylaw (Bylaw No. 3551) which states a possible fine of $10,000 to those who threaten Campbell River’s environment.
A significant difference than the fee that is issued at Campbell River’s official waste disposal.
Volunteer groups, such as the Island Forest Stewards, have gone out of their way to help clean up the mess, and other locals have helped by tidying up whenever they can.
Cam Lougheed, a local who frequents the back roads, describes the dumping as “epidemic.”
“It’s not just household garbage, it’s also construction waste,” Lougheed says.
“These are possibly people that are making money, and not disposing of the waste properly like they tell their customers.”
Lougheed encourages those who do find personal information within the waste to report it to the proper authorities.
“It’s an eyesore. It’s dangerous,” he says. “I just don’t get it.”
There are several popular dumping sites within the forests that surround Campbell River, with each site containing an estimated two tons of garbage.
These spots include John Hart Lake (one of Campbell River’s water reservoirs), the roads surrounding Campbell River’s Motocross track, and Duncan Bay Main, which is estimated to have an estimated 10 tons of garbage.
Campbell River’s Waste Management Centre can be found on Argonaut Road off the Gold River Highway, and information on how to help reduce the illegal waste on the back roads can be found on the Island Forest Stewards Facebook page.