Region faces a dumping dilemma

A recent crime of convenience has caused continued frustration to TimberWest.

  • Feb. 8, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Garbage is being dumped off West Coast Road on TimberWest property. It is a big problem across the province.

A recent crime of convenience has caused continued frustration to TimberWest.

A sizable quantity of discarded building materials is the latest in a series of illegal dumping incidents inconveniencing the forest products company.

“The latest incidence is at our Branch BD110 access off the West Coast Highway, just a few kilometres up the road from the Boyes Road gate,” informed TimberWest Communications Director Sue Handel via email on January 31.

Photographic evidence of the “particularly shocking example of garbage dumping” accompanied the message. Boyes Road is situated between Sooke and the Shirley District.

“TimberWest has long endured this problem on its private lands, as you know, and we’ve spent countless hours and significant financial cost on clean-up,” Handel continued, adding that the price tag for the latest episode amounted to $2,000.

The dump was made over a bank into a newly planted area.

A number of provincial laws dealing with littering offenses are on the books, with specified fines ranging from a low of $58 for certain park-related violations to $115 for transgressions under the Environmental Management Act.

These, however, do not rule out more meaningful punishment.

A man found guilty of dumping two bags of household garbage and an old couch along the Chilliwack River in 2007, for example, was fined $1,100.

Sooke RCMP Staff Sergeant Steven Wright related on February 3 that certain Criminal Code of Canada (mischief section) measures may also be taken against offenders in some cases, as well as clean-up costs.

Refuse dumping is a persistent problem in this area according to the staff sergeant.

He described how “people are too cheap to go to the dump” so they find somewhere else to unload material.

“All municipalities have to deal with this,” said Wright, “unscrupulous contractors or even people getting rid of household garbage including furniture.”

The police spokesman said it’s often more difficult to find the source of discarded building materials because it’s less likely to find any sort of personal papers that are prone to show up in household waste.

“Dumping is a difficult problem to mitigate,” Handel’s communique concluded, “however, TimberWest will be posting signage at this location and operating patrols through the coming weeks. We also ask anyone who has information about dumping in the area to contact TimberWest (250-729-3700) or the RCMP. TimberWest works hard to maintain the integrity of its landbase but we could use some help with this one.”

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