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.”



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Reflecting on former Kootenay MLA Ed Conroy’s legacy

Former BC cabinet minister and Kootenay MLA Ed Conroy passed away June 26

Conserving all-Canadian wildlife just one part of the puzzle

“Canada plays a critical role in protecting many of these plants and animals.”

Salmo RCMP arrest three, seize $15,000

The three adult men have been charged with “Conspiracy to Commit an Offence.”

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Rosslanders celebrate Canada Day in style

Locals organized a museum scavenger hunt, a Mt. Roberts flag-raising ceremony and evening fireworks

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read