Illegal dumping is an issue that continues to be a problem at Sun Peaks.
On Tuesday morning after the B.C. long weekend, a pile of garbage at the gate greeted transfer station attendant Wilf Bennett. Unfortunately, this situation isn’t new to him. On numerous occasions, individuals have left their garbage at the gate upon seeing the transfer station closed.
For the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD), illegal dumping is a costly issue. The TNRD spends about $30,000 annually to clean up after illegal dumpers. However, many illegally disposed items can be dropped off for free, or at a minimal fee, at TNRD landfills or transfer stations.
Yard waste, automotive batteries, household appliances and used oil containers are the items most commonly found in illegal dump sites. Most of these items are accepted for free at the Heffley Landfill. Used oil containers can be returned for free where bought (e.g. Canadian Tire).
Items left in the bush can cause fires. They can also endanger wildlife, such as bears that become habituated to garbage and eventually destroyed because of thoughtless discarding of garbage.
Other oversized items may require a minimum cost of $5, or $60 per tonne, to dispose, much less than the $150 to $10,000 fine or jail time if caught. The TNRD installs hidden cameras at known illegal dumping spots and works with the Conservation Office to prosecute lawbreakers.