According to environmental advocates in the Central Okanagan, illegal dumping is on the rise, and a dash-cam video appears to show somebody caught in the act.
“It’s frustrating and it feels like a slap in the face,” Kane Blake with the Okanagan Forest Task Force said of the alleged crime caught on camera.
“We were just at that spot three days ago, and it leaves me speechless that people would want to do this.”
The task force responded to dash-cam video recorded on May 4 at 6:35 p.m., which shows a man with a truck full of furniture who appears to be attempting to offload it onto the side of Postill Lake Road in a rural area northeast of Kelowna.
“People that are doing acts like that should be fined to the max,” Blake said.
When approached about his actions by the individual who recorded the video, the man can be seen returning a side table from the ground back onto the truck bed and drives away.
“With all the media coverage we’ve had, it’s bound to happen,” Blake said of the video that allegedly catches the man illegal dumping. “There’s a lot of people watching now.”
Blake and his crew have cleared several illegal dump sites in the Central Okanagan in the last few years and said the act has increased 10-fold since the pandemic.
He’s hoping people will start demonstrating better respect for the environment.
“It’s not only that they have a lack of care for the wilderness: it’s just a lack of self-care and pride,” he said.
“We promote beautiful British Columbia, but when you go into our backcountry, it’s anything but.”
Blake learned that the B.C. Conservation Service is following up on the video.
A map created by the Regional District of Central Okanagan that documents illegal dump sites since 2003 is crowded, demonstrating the ongoing problem in the Kelowna area.
According to the RDCO, fines for illegal dumping can range from $100 under the Solid Waste Management Regulation Bylaw, up to $2,000 under the Offence Act.
It encourages those who see an illegal dump site to file a report on the RDCO website.
Illegal dumping can also be reported to the Province of B.C. RAPP line (Report All Poachers and Polluters).
“If we have harsher penalties, bigger fines,” said Blake, “it might deter a little more people.”