Illegal dumping in Kamloops area jumps by 35% during pandemic | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Illegal dumping in Kamloops area jumps by 35% during pandemic

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Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Jesse Ritcey
August 25, 2020 - 1:52 PM

While the pandemic might have offered us more time to clean out our homes, it seems more and more people have chosen the wilderness as their dumping grounds.

Graydon Bruce, a conservation officer who covers Kamloops and the surrounding area, says dumping is the problem that has increased the most in the region.

There has been a 35 per cent increase in dumping from April to August of 2019 compared to the same time period this year.

“We’ve just seen an increase in illegal dumping and our consensus on that is it might be because more people are at home and not working during this period due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bruce says. “This has likely led to people cleaning our their garage, their homes, doing renovation projects and having more debris that they need to get rid of and unfortunately more of them are deciding to take that into the bush rather than taking them out to the dump.”

A Facebook post from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service recognizes illegal hunting, dumping and off-road vehicle use have increased during the pandemic, but Bruce says it’s only dumping that’s plaguing the area.

Credit: FACEBOOK / Conservation Officer Service

Bruce says it can be hard to nab the dumpers, although sometimes they score big through descriptive reports or personal information in the trash.

“We really rely heavily on people reporting these activities when they see them, but not only just reporting them but also recording things like license plates, vehicle descriptions, people descriptions because it gives us the best chance of following up. Once in a while we get lucky by having someone dump garbage and there's a name attached to it, but that doesn't always happen.”

The area Bruce and his team cover stretches to the Little Shuswap Lake, west towards Cache Creek and south towards Merritt. He says there is only three officers to cover that area, which can make it difficult to catch illegal dumpers.

“We generally will work on things like trail camera projects so if we get an area that has become a consistent dumping location, then we can build a project around that to potentially catch those individuals who are responsible. If it’s just sporadic and we just have garbage in multiple different locations, it's very difficult to put our resources where there's no consistency.”

Bruce urges people to consider not only the impact they’re making on the environment, but also that they might not be choosing the most cost-effective method to get rid of waste.

“There’s a dump location in Barnhartvale, there's a dump location in Mission Flats, and to move something like a couch is likely not more than $12 and I think people are unfortunately under the assumption that dump fees are quite high, when in fact they’re fairly low,” Bruce says. “The price of gas to go out to these Crown locations is likely more than it is to go out to the dump.”

At the Mission Flats landfill, it’ll cost you $80 per tonne of garbage dumped. Bulky furniture like mattresses costs $10, and commercial appliances containing freon cost $15. Click here to see the rates of all the dumps and recycling depots within the city.

If you spot someone dumping garbage where they shouldn’t be, call the hotline for Report All Poachers and Polluters at 1-877-952-7277, or make a report online.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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