May 2, 2017 8:50 pm

Cameras to catch Okanagan residents dumping garbage illegally

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Okanagan residents are set to keep a closer eye on illegal dumping in the wilderness.

Non-profit group the Okanagan Forest Task Force is in the process of installing cameras to catch people in the act.

“We will be hiding them so you can’t see them but they can see you,” task force president Kane Blake said.

Blake took a Global Okanagan News crew up the Gillard Forest Service Road on the south slopes of Kelowna on Tuesday morning to show how much garbage has piled up in the forest.

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“Today in the short time been here we found lots and lots of broken glass, an abundance of shotgun shells, we found live rounds as well burnt shingles,” Blake said. “There is a broken television beside me, there is a lawn chair over there, a newspaper from three days ago blowing around.”

The Okanagan Forest Task Force has collected 87,000 pounds of garbage from area forests between September 2016 and April 2017.

Blake says not only is the garbage an eyesore but it poses a safety hazard to people and wildlife.

“A little piece of glass, it can be a small inch by an inch, that is a little magnifying glass that on a hot day can start a fire,” Blake said.

“Deer don’t ask for this, bear don’t ask to walk through broken glass and nails.”

Fines for dumping garbage illegally can range depending on what is being dumped and where. A standard fine on Crown land is $57 but there are also legal ramifications involved because dumping can result in criminal charges.

Anyone who witnesses offenders dumping garbage illegally is asked to report it by calling the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line at 1-877-952-7277.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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