The illegal dumpsite in the hills above the intersection of Highway 97 and the Okanagan Connector in Peachland is truly disgusting for its sheer area and volume of household junk, assorted garbage and general debris.
“It’s absolutely horrifying,” says nearby resident Patricia Ryder who hiked the area with her mother as a child. “To think somebody would go to a beautiful spot like that and then just dump disgusting rubbish. Well out of sight of the highway so nobody could see what they were doing.”
The dump site was discovered in October when the Peachland Fire Department responded to a small blaze in the area.
“I’ve worked here for seven years and I think it’s one of the worst ones I’ve seen,” says regional district waste reduction facilitator Cynthia Coates.
Plans to clean up the mess last fall were derailed by snowy weather. Now the initiative is back on track.
“We have the Okanagan Forest Task Force, an amazing volunteer group in town that tackles illegal dumping, they’re going to be on site,” says Coates. “We’re looking for additional volunteer groups. We’re going to make a morning of it and see what we can get done. If we have to address it another day, then we’ll do that.”
They’ve got their work cut out for them.
“We’ve planned for four, 40 yard dumpsters. Could be more for sure,” says Coates.
The cleanup is set for May 5th.
“I’d like to see the rubbish gone and I’d also like to see the people apprehended who have been dumping up there,” says Ryder.
After the garbage is hauled away the regional district will ask the property owner, the provincial government, to lock an access road gate to keep the thoughtless dumpers away.