Disheartening, ignorant and sad are words two residents use to describe the amount of household garbage they see tossed into ditches or onto pullouts on roadsides in their cities.

Nancy Gray-Starkebaum from Vernon said she was shocked when she saw the amount of garbage dumped on a pull out on Kalamalka Lakeview Road recently.

“It was household garbage bags the birds had picked into and some kind of recliner and a TV box,” she said. “I don’t think it all fell off a truck, it looks like a consistent dumping spot.”

Gray-Starkebaum moved from Ontario to Vernon last year, put off by the amount of littering she was seeing in her previous community. She found people in Vernon to be more environmentally conscious and more cognizant of the well-being of wildlife.

However, lately she's seeing in increase in garbage dumping on roadsides along with fast food bags and containers and cigarette butts.

“I think it’s the few people who for whatever reason think it’s OK,” she said. “It isn’t homeless people or teens or children, it’s an adult’s action. It’s sad, it’s such a beautiful place we get to live in and to have people not care enough to dispose of their garbage properly.”

Gray-Starkebaum is concerned for the wildlife being impacted by garbage and tossed plastics.

“It isn’t fair to anyone else and no one wants to see wildlife walking around with plastic containers stuck on them,” she said.

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Floriane Fleming is seeing the same littering happening in Kamloops and calls it “ditch dumping.”

“There is more garbage being dumped, not only in the backcountry but in ditches on city roads,” she said. “How do you stop it? In my opinion it is laziness and ignorance. I don’t mind cleaning up but the more you do, the more people dump it. It’s just sad,” she said.

Fleming cleans up the tossed garbage when she can whether its on city roads or in the backcountry but often the piles are too big.

She said for larger garbage piles she’ll let the City of Kamloops know and they will pick it up. Other times, volunteers do the dirty work, bearing the cost of the dump fee.

“It costs the person bringing it in and I think the dump fee has gone up and maybe that’s why more people are doing ditch dumping," she said. "It would be nice to get volunteers groups out doing garbage pickup in their neighbourhoods for an hour or two every month.”

Fleming is also concerned for wildlife and is diligent about cutting the plastic rings on beer cans and ensuring her household garbage is put away properly.

“I mean, even a plastic bag can be a hazard to an animal, we need to take better care of wildlife and our communities,” she said.

It's illegal to dump litter outside of disposal facilities in the province and a person caught in the act by authorities is subject to hefty fines up to $2,000.

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