Lisa Alexander hikes a lot around the Parksville-Qualicum area and has seen garbage here and there, but she was literally stunned when she came across an illegal dump in the woods near Parksville Monday.

“It kind of freaked me out because I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years living and growing up on the island,” said Alexander. “It’s sad. It’s really sad.”

The garbage covers a wide area measuring about 30 metres by 30 metres and includes things like clothing, hundreds of plastic forks, batteries by the dozen, mini propane cylinders, broken glass, and at least one needle.

Alexander posted some pictures to her Facebook page Monday and quickly there were dozens of comments and hundreds of shares.

While many online posters blame the homeless for the mess, Alexander says she doesn’t want to speculate about who is responsible.

“I have no idea who’s responsible for this, I just know whoever it is is super careless and doesn’t respect our environment,” she said.

A lot of the metal is already rusted and many of the other items look like they’ve been there for quite a while as well so there’s really no telling how long the dump has been there.

The property in question is in the regional district and owned by a numbered company.

The RDN says it will be contacting the owner with instructions to clean it up.

“Well garbage tends to attract more garbage so our concerns at this point at least tentatively would be to have the mess cleaned up,” said Tom Armet, Manager of Building and Bylaw Services for the Regional District of Nanaimo.

No timeline was given on when the garbage would be cleaned up.

Dean Stoltz