Construction waste dumped near the Pend D’Oreille Cemetery.

Spring thaw reveals unlawful dumping in the Pend d’Oreille

To report dumping and other environmental concerns, call the 24/7 RAPP line at 1.877.952.7277

When Russ LaFreniere walks his dog through pathways in the beautiful Beaver Valley, he doesn’t mind picking up cans and other thoughtlessly tossed garbage, usually fast food wrappers and the like.

But the responsibility of cleaning up this latest dump near the Pend d’Oreille Cemetery falls far beyond the goodwill of one lone dog walker.

Only days ago, and to his utter dismay, LaFreniere came across a pile of construction waste that he describes as a stone’s throw away from the historic burial ground.

Read more: Plan for peaceful rest in the Pend d’Oreille

Read more: Dumping continues in Upper Sunningdale

He had already picked up 60-or-so beer cans from the countryside that morning, so this trash pile was especially infuriating given the locale and the sheer volume of refuse.

“I went out there again a few days ago and two trucks went in from the highway,” LaFreniere said on Friday. “I thought they were going to clean it up.”

When he asked the highway crew if they were going to haul the pile out, the answer was disappointing, at best.

“They said they might not, and that there’s stuff like this all over the place,” LaFreniere recalled. “So, the polite way to put it, is that I wasn’t very enthused about that comment.”

Therein lies part of problem with cleaning up rural areas like the Pend d’Oreille. Responsibility to pick up what good-hearted volunteers cannot, largely depends upon where the junk is dumped.

“Technically it’s out of our jurisdiction,” explained Ken Gobeil, senior planner for the regional district.

Gobeil reminds the public to contact the RAPP hotline at 1.877.952.7277 to report dumping.

(Report All Poachers and Polluters, or RAPP, is a provincial tip line and online service that allows people to anonymously report known or suspected violations of fisheries, wildlife, or environmental protection laws.)

However, if the garbage is on a road right-of-way, Gobeil says the public can contact the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure directly, or the local maintenance contractor. For this region, the service provider is YRB Kootenays.

Finally, if a private citizen or group does want to volunteer for a clean-up in the community or on Crown land, Gobeil says they can contact the regional district and apply to have the tipping fees waived at the landfill.

Besides this latest dump of construction waste, LaFreniere mentioned a burnt out car that hasn’t been removed from a Pend d’Oreille roadside since it went up in flames last year. Understandably, these larger messes add to his frustration with the endless litter strewn along roadways throughout the valley.

“I don’t go down there to pick up cans, but I do it because there is garbage everywhere,” he said. “And I am more than happy to help clean it up, but I don’t want to go down there on a regular basis.”

LaFreniere also doesn’t want his one-man effort to hit him in the pocket book when it comes to proper disposal at the landfill.

“You know, people will spend $10 worth of fuel to drive it out there when it probably only costs $15 bucks to bring it and dump it in the landfill,” he said.

“It’s disgusting, and it doesn’t make sense to a lot of us.”

Illegal dumping costs all taxpayers money, says Area Director Ali Grieve.

“Including the people doing the illegal dumping as we have to pay road contractors to go do the cleanup,” she said.

“Would the ‘dumpers’ do this if their children or grandchildren were watching?”

The best way to report these careless acts is to take photos and report it to the 24-hour RAPP Line at 1-877-952-7277. Grieve added.

“No one likes to see this garbage where it does not belong.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Construction waste dumped near the Pend d’Oreille Cemetery. Submitted photo

Pend d’Oreille Cemetery. (Trail Times file photo)

Pend d’Oreille Cemetery. (Trail Times file photo)

Just Posted

Trail Smoke Eaters open trimmed down Main Camp

Forty players will compete for a spot on the Trail Smoke Eaters roster this week

Update: 75th annual Rossland-Trail Open crowns three-time champion

Kevin Hogg wins the Birchbank Golf Course’s 75th Rossland-Trail Open … again

Jail time for driver involved in Castlegar road rampage

Sean Patrick Byrne caused havoc on Castlegar roads in November

Schroder pitches Team Canada to win over Dominican

Greater Trail native leads Team Canada to opening game win at Pan Am women’s baseball tournament

Keep motorized vehicles off Trans-Canada Trail

Government considers allowing off-road vehicles on Trans Canada Trail

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read