Illegal dumping in Okanagan forests. (Kane Blake photo)

Hidden cameras in Okanagan forests catch illegal dumpers, lead to fines

The Okanagan Forest Task Force’s have led to 13 or 14 tickets for illegal dumpers

Members of the Okanagan Forest Task Force have donated their own cameras in an effort to catch and deter people from illegal dumping in the bush.

The Task Force will not disclose how many or where the cameras are located, but so far 13 or 14 tickets have been issued as a result of the eye in the sky — or more accurately, attached to the trees.

“This year we’ve seen a big spike (in illegal garbage dumping),” said Kane Blake, Okanagan Forest Task Force. “Hopefully that doesn’t stick around and become the new normal.”

According to Blake, tickets for illegal dumping can cost a person anywhere from $100 to $2000, a steep price that can easily be avoided.

“With the amount of awareness that we’ve made just in general with all the media, you would think that people would understand that there’s going to be people watching, cameras and everybody has a cellphone nowadays, so why would you risk getting a fine when you can pay $12 at the (Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna).”

READ MORE: TOTA and Community Futures join forces to support Okanagan businesses amid COVID-19

The Task Force has used their personal cameras for the initiative and cost at least $300 each, according to Blake. He said some of the members have donated more than one camera in hopes they will catch and deter illegal dumpers.

The Okanagan Forest Task Force would also like to give a shoutout to its mechanic, Jerod Klettke, from Jeklefab Automotive in Lake Country who makes these initiatives possible.

“We’ve had issues with our truck and they get us in and out and back into the bush in no time,” said Blake. “Without them, we wouldn’t even be able to have a reliable vehicle to get in and out (of the bush).”

READ MORE: YLW implements further safety measures amid COVID-19


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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