Natural resource officers from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations have worked with a local recycling company to remove over 90 tonnes of illegally dumped waste metal from Crown land northeast of Kimberley.
The clean-up operation took place at a former regional dump near the intersection of Highway 95A and Houle Road. Although the dump was officially closed back in the 1970s, people have continued to illegally dispose of waste there for over 40 years, leading to an unsightly accumulation of old cars, car parts, appliances and garbage.
A local recycling contractor hauled away and processed 29 large truckloads of metal. Natural resource officers from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations removed another six truckloads of discarded tires.
This is the second time that Natural Resource Officers have undertaken clean-up efforts in the area. Last year, ministry staff removed about nine tonnes of waste that had been dumped illegally at a spot known locally as “The Gov”, about half a kilometre northeast of this year’s clean-up site.
Recent enforcement efforts in the area have resulted in natural resource officers issuing several violation tickets to people who were caught dumping material unlawfully. To further discourage people from dumping waste at the Houle Road site, they have closed off the old access road.
Illegal dumping can cause environmental damage, create public safety hazards, introduce invasive plants to new areas and pose health risks to people and wildlife. Anyone depositing garden waste, brush, household garbage, construction materials or other debris on Crown land is subject to prosecution under the Environmental Management Act.
Under the Environmental Management Act, people can be issued a violation ticket of up to $575, assessed a penalty of up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisoned for up to six months. The Land Act also provides for fines of up to $20,000 and/or a jail term of up to 60 days for anyone found guilty of illegal dumping.
Anyone who discovers an illegal dump site or witnesses illegal dumping can call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1 877 952-7277.
Waste and recyclable materials can be disposed of responsibly at regional district transfer stations and authorized landfills. Information about transfer stations in Kimberley, Cranbrook and other locations within the Regional District of East Kootenay (including what materials are accepted) is available online at: http://www.rdek.bc.ca/transferstations.htm
Additional information about recycling, solid waste management and landfills within the Regional District of East Kootenay is available at:
Compliance and Enforcement Branch: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hen/
Environmental Management Act: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/03053_00
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations