The forests and fields around Cranbrook are a haven of wildlife and a great place to partake in activities in the outdoors, but for some people it's a place to dump their unused garbage. Despite there being no tipping fees for dropping off municipal solid waste at local landfills, there are still those who dump their unwanted items on Crown land.
One such item is an old makeshift camper that was dumped down Peavine Creek Road, just south of Cranbrook. The camper was disposed of sometime earlier this summer, according to Peter Johnson, who sent in photos to the Townsman last week.
Kevin Paterson, manager of environmental services at the Regional District of East Kootenay, said dumping like this is seen from time to time, especially around Koocanusa, Gold Creek and Sunrise Creek near Moyie.
“It continues to happen,” Paterson said. “We find it interesting, because there’s really no tipping fee for municipal solid waste, yet people still want to go and dump it in the bush. I don’t know why.”
Illegal dumping on Crown land falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment, and conservation officers can ticket and fine for that type of activity.
“At the regional district, we don’t have any jurisdiction, with respect to the enforcement or the illegal dumping component,” Paterson explained. “My staff from time to time will help out with the ministry in terms of cleaning up and getting some stuff and taking it to the landfill or the transfer station.”
He noted that unless there’s some evidence or the COs can find names to follow up with, it can be pretty tough to track down the culprit.
“But it costs all of us money when people dump in the bush, whether it’s COs following up with enforcement or if we send staff out and clean it up, it costs us all,” Paterson said. “There’s really no need for it, we can accommodate it.”
He reiterated that the RDEK provides the service and the facility that’s free for the public to bring refuse to.
“Those that dump on Crown land are breaking the law.”