(Black Press file image)

“We just want the littering stopped,” says neighbour to the south

Letter to the Editor from Tim Folke, Colville, Washington

Dear Canadian Neighbors:

I am one of your American neighbors.

I live on Deep Lake Boundary Road, between Deep Lake and the Waneta Border Crossing. I have visited the town of Trail, B.C. and found it to be beautiful, orderly and clean.

And, both in Trail and alongside the road leading to it there was a blessed absence of litter.

Regarding litter, our neighborhood is not so fortunate.

Over the years, while walking my dogs, I have witnessed numerous occasions (perhaps two or three dozen in the last three years) where northbound vehicles – always with Canadian license plates – have thrown empty alcoholic beverage containers out their windows. (My eyesight is just not good enough to get the license plate numbers. And, yes, I am quite sure Americans have littered our roads from time to time as well, though personally I have never witnessed them doing so in our neighborhood).

I spoke to the Border Crossing Officers at the Waneta Border Crossing and was informed that the reason for the littering is that by doing so homecoming Canadians can avoid the duty tax on USA purchased alcohol.

Now, I can sympathize with tax avoidance, but I cannot sympathize with littering.

I have a high regard for my Canadian neighbors and it is my conviction that only one or two of you are littering our neighborhood.

Since I do not know who you are I cannot buy you and I a couple beers while we sit down and talk about it.

Accordingly, I have, at no small expense (!), set up 24/7 surveillance cameras within our property boundary along our section of road, as well as that of a few other accommodating neighbors.

Should you litter within range of these high resolution 24/7 cameras, the photographic evidence – including date, time, vehicle description, license plate number, and discharging of litter – will be promptly submitted to all applicable Law Enforcement Authorities.

I have debated for several years in writing this letter, but two things prompted me to finally do so.

First off, we (my neighbors and I) are tired of cleaning up your litter.

Secondly, with the advent of COVID19 and the Border being closed to nonessential traffic, the littering has for the time being stopped.

Because of this, I have been able to experience a nice walk without seeing litter which inspired me to purchased the 24/7 surveillance equipment and write this letter.

My neighbors and I do not want revenge.

We do not want you caught. We just want the littering stopped.

Please, do not bring shame on yourself, your family, your town, or your wonderful country.


Your American friend and neighbor

Tim Folke

Colville, WA

Letter to the EditorUSA

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