Letters: Illegal dumping concerns EMCS students

EMCS Environmental Studies students help clean up dump sites

We are 25 Edward Milne community schools Environmental Studies students who would like to see an end to the illegal dumping of wastes in and around our beloved Sooke.

Our exploration of Sooke’s supernatural backyard has revealed some horrific dumping grounds. We’ve seen everything from appliances and mattresses to run of the mill household garbage.  All of these sites have been near rivers and creeks and we worry about toxins leaching into local water systems, harming salmon spawning grounds and transporting plastics into the ocean. We are also concerned for local wildlife that might consume bits of plastic or be poisoned by leaching toxins.

Our class decided to clean-up Sooke’s worst dumpsites located at the gate to Butler Main Road. Sooke Disposal kindly donated a massive bin for us to use. At first glance, we thought the clean-up would entail hauling out the mattresses, plastics and drywall on the side of the road. However, when we moved into the bush, we were mortified by the amount and type of refuse there.  We pulled out more than 20 tires, gallons of paint cans and used motor oil, furniture, bags of household garbage including kitchen and toilet waste, hundreds of Keurig coffee cups and aerosol cans.  We removed layers of garbage unearthing older layers beneath.

“How could somebody do this?” we asked ourselves.

Our class feels good about our clean-up efforts but we also know that we must stop future dumping. Presently, there is a maximum $2,000 fine from the CRD for dumping if a culprit is caught.  Capturing individuals can be difficult as the dumping occurs late at night and CRD resources are limited.

It is our hope that bringing public awareness to this problem may help hinder illegal dumping. Sooke residents can recycle electronics at the Salvation Army for no charge. Also for free, Sooke Disposal will take appliances, automotive batteries, paint and aerosol cans. EMCS is also collecting scrap metal in our parking lot for the next month.

We are asking our community to help bring better awareness to this issue so that we might preserve Sooke’s natural beauty for all!

EMCS Environmental Studies Class 2015

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thousands protested in Victoria following the death of George Floyd in the U.S. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. is not exempt: New report documents 150 years of racism and the fight against it

Booklet marks province’s 150th anniversary with call for transparency, change

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

Sgt. Sandrine Perry in the Oak Bay Police Department interview room that has been softened with household features to better accommodate survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay police interview room gets a makeover

Room made less daunting for victims of trauma

Paul Lewis is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Arts Advocate of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore driftwood sculptor inspired by Esquimalt Lagoon

Paul Lewis is the 2021 Arts Advocate of the Year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Research shows that even 15 minutes of exercise every day has a positive impact on your health. (Pixabay photo)
RON CAIN: Popular myths about exercise

Research shows 15 minutes of exercise every day has a positive impact on your health

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

Most Read