B.C. Conservation officers are investigating alleged illegal dumping off Postill Lake Road in Kelowna.
The incident was reported to Conservation on Monday evening when a Kelowna resident driving along the road came across someone unloading various household items.
A dash camera captured a man in a silver truck with several items of furniture, back off the road towards a ditch and begin to take the items out of the vehicle’s bed.
The Kelowna resident, who does not wish to be named, apparently had a conversation with the individual in the silver truck, asking him if he was planning on dumping the furniture in the bush.
While the resident did not wish to speak on record it appears he did persuade the individual to pick up the furniture and not dump it in the forest.
Recently, there has been an uptick in illegal dumping in the bush around the Central Okanagan.
Kane Blake of the Okanagan Forest Task Force has spoken out several times this spring about numerous dump piles he has come across in the outback.
“I saw the video and it was hard to watch,” he said. “It was just three days ago I spoke with the media about the issues with illegal dumping. We have cameras in the bush, this wasn’t ours, but people are watching you.”
Blake said he doesn’t believe that people aren’t aware they shouldn’t be dumping garbage in the forest.
“You know better than to dump in the bush. This is about not getting caught and not going to or paying for the landfill,” he explained.
According to Conservation Officer Wayne Murdoch, the person in the video has been identified and charges under the environmental management act are pending against them.
“We hope that these charges will make an impact not only on the person, but the public,” said Murdoch. “I am not sure why there has been an increase in illegal dumping this spring but people need to stop it.”
Blake agreed stating that people need to be taught they cannot continue to illegally dump.
“If they went to the landfill I bet this furniture would have cost them about $12 to drop off,” said Blake. “What else do people have to do right now? Why can’t they wait in line at the landfill?”
Charges under the environmental management act are significant, said Murdoch, and a fine of $575 could be handed down.
Blake said he and his volunteer members all travel the back roads looking for illegal dumps and working to clean them up.
“Since we started this in 2016 we have probably removed about 200,000 pounds to garbage from the bush,” he stated. “So, to watch someone try and (allegedly) illegally dump is like a smack in the face.”
The volunteers at the local non-profit are all outdoor enthusiasts who care about the environment and they are sending a message to law-breakers — stop dumping garbage in nature’s backyard.
Conservation is asking the public if they spot anyone poaching or polluting in the bush they are asked to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-9277