Hiker finds mess of illegal dumping in Nanaimo backcountry


WATCH: As warmer temperatures lure more of us out to Vancouver Island’s forests and trails a disturbing sight is surfacing in many rural areas this March. Illegally-dumped garbage and furniture is turning up on roadsides and in creeks. It has one avid outdoorsman calling for people to get mad like he is and do something about it.

Walks in the woods behind Nanaimo are revealing disturbing finds for Michael Cruickshank this spring.

“It’s strewn everywhere down here,” said the Nanaimo man, pointing to a litter-covered creek.

Cruickshank is discovering illegally-dumped garbage all over different areas.

“And it’s sad that I see some of this happening in the creeks because this creek feeds Chase River. They’re doing this with impunity,” said Cruickshank.

“They’re not being caught because it’s hidden.”

The Nanaimo hiker also pointed out more trash in a ditch just feet away.

“That’s somebody’s household toilet dumped in the ditch. Right there and it’s not the only toilet I’ve found in the bush either,” said Cruickshank.

Cruickshank says the roads out of Nanaimo and wilderness he’s enjoyed for years are increasingly becoming dumping grounds for everything from household garbage to unwanted furniture. He added he feels sick the once pristine areas are being damaged like this.

“Come on Nanaimo. We have to wake up,” said Cruickshank. “People in Nanaimo need to help with this. We need more eyes out in the forest.”

The Regional District of Nanaimo says they’ll take all the help with cleaning they can get as people are getting so brazen, they’re dumping right at the base of the regional district’s no dumping signs.

Manager of Solid Waste for the Region Larry Gardner says he doesn’t think there is more dumping, just more people exploring areas that once would have gone unseen.

“We commonly get more this time of year,” said Gardner. “And it’s because this time of year, as we get through winter and the weather starts to improve, people are out and about and as well when we don’t have any vegetation on the trees it tends to be more visible.

Gardner says illegal dumping has always been an issue in rural areas of Vancouver Island and understands residents’ frustrations. He recommends people keep watch when they are out exploring and report any suspicious activity and garbage to the Report All Poachers and Polluters Line at 1-877-952-7277 or go to RAPP online, to ensure someone follows up.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!