The mess was huge.
From household garbage to hazardous material, a large and illegal dump site in a secluded spot in the bush off Trepanier Road north of Peachland has been cleaned up by a group of volunteers.
The dump site, which is on Crown Land, was left behind this winter after two squatters were arrested for mail fraud.
It was home to the pair and a stolen 35 foot RV.
RCMP towed the trailer out in December but the mess was finally cleaned up this past weekend.
In preparation for Saturdays clean-up, a Hazmat team was hired to remove the remnants of the rudimentary drug lab, including various acids, aerosols, and dozens of propane tanks.
In a news release, the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) said this was one of the uglier sites seen in some time, and just meters away from the banks of Trepanier Creek, a source of Peachland’s drinking water.
“The dozens of volunteers that lent their muscle to the cause Saturday deserve an enormous environmental salute,” RDCO waste reduction facilitator Rae Stewart said. “Thank you to each and every one of the dedicated volunteers that showed up, and did their all to take care of one ugly mess. We rely on groups like these when the illegal dumping is difficult to access and this large in scale, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of their immense hard work and commitment.”
Clean-up volunteer coordinator Keith Nixon, who lives nearby the dump site, said he’s thrilled this blight on their backyard playground is now gone.
“Unfortunately this kind of thing is all too common, but this clean-up was a roaring success with over 23 volunteers,” he said. “A 40-yard dumpster was filled to the brim in just over two-and- half hours, and we dismantled a site where rogue criminals had occupied for five months, throwing contents of their crime spree all over and let their effluent flow to the creek. Job completed, nature restored.”
If you find any dump sites or littering while out enjoying local natural areas, here are some things you can do.
Fill out an online report form on the regional district website or by calling the regional waste reduction office at 250-469-6250.
Be sure to include:
• a detailed description of the area (or GPS coordinates) for the illegal dump site
• the size of the dump site
• the type of items that were dumped
• information on how we can contact you (all information will remain confidential)
The regional waste reduction office will supply any groups interested in cleaning up their community with bags and gloves to support their efforts, and will arrange for the collection and disposal of the garbage collected.