Rural communities west of Sooke are hoping new signage will help curb illegal dumping in wooded areas.
Six anti-littering signs were installed at the entry points of the Otter Point, Shirley and Jordan River communities last week. The signs provide the phone number for people to call if they witness illegal dumping and littering.
The signs were paid for with a grant from the Otter Point, Shirley and Jordan River Resident and Ratepayers Association. Capital Regional District crews installed the signs.
Illegal dumping has been an ongoing issue for many years, and earlier this spring a community initiative collected more than 5.5 tons of illegal trash.
“Illegal dumping is a blight on the landscape. If you don’t want it in your backyard, what makes you think we want it in ours? Do the right thing and dispose of your unwanted waste legally. We are operating at a zero tolerance to this long standing issue, it’s time for a change,” said Jan Toom, organizer of last April’s clean up campaign.
Most investigations of illegal trash are complaint driven, and while an initial fine can be as low as $100 per incident it can go as high as $10,000, said Don Brown, manager of bylaw and animal care for the CRD.
Discarding landscaping debris such as wood chips, branches, felled trees and bushes, despite being organic waste, is still considered illegal dumping.