The Regional District of Nanaimo is calling on the B.C. government for a more coordinated approach to illegal dumping, saying it is an ongoing and costly problem that should be the responsibility of the province.
Little Mountain near Errington is among the spots where illegal dumping has been common within the Regional District.
“I just don’t understand why somebody would do that to the place they live in like this is such an incredible area,” said Mason Darbyshire who celebrated his eighth anniversary with his girlfriend there Wednesday.
A Rotary Group has been undertaking a massive cleanup over the past couple of years below the dropoff. They plan to use helicopters again this spring to remove the final bags.
“Little Mountain had been used as a dumping ground for everything under the sun for probably 25 to 30 years,” said Bill Rawlins, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Parksville AM that’s coordinated the cleanup.
The Regional District of Nanaimo says illegal dumping, including the cleanup of homeless camps in recent years, has accounted for 12 per cent of its bylaws calls during the past two years.
“It’s not an insignificant workload in terms of the calls they get,” said Larry Gardner, the Regional District’s manager of solid waste services.
As it’s a provincial responsibility the RDN’s board has voted for a motion it wants the Union of BC Municipalities to also approve.
It’s asking the B.C. government for a better more coordinated approach to illegal dumping.
“Getting in front of UBCM [and] getting that collective voice and encouraging the province to work more closely with local government to try and manage the problem in a better way,” said Gardner.
The Rotary Group says fortunately people have been heeding the signs and Little Mountain is no longer the go-to spot among illegal dumpers.
“There was nothing new since we had last gone up there and put stuff in bags. That’s very positive and I think it’s partly the fact that there was such a public outcry when we did the first two helicopter lift-outs,” said Rawlins.
The RDN wants its motion to reach UBCM this coming September. It will first go before the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities in April.