First Nation land trashed by dumpers

“I would hope people have a conscience. It is well worth your time, think of your karma.”

First Nation land and the environment are being damaged by illegal dumpers in the Penticton region.

In April 2017 alone, the Penticton Indian Band Natural Resource Department collected more than six tons of garbage off Penticton Indian Band land.

“One camp took us two weeks to get rid of, 15 heaping dump-truck loads. This is just in the last month. It is tragically horrible,” said department manager James Pepper.

“One of these issues is that as soon as we remove, literally tons of garbage, many-many truck loads, they reappear the next week.”

Pepper says while some of the dumping is regular household waste, dangerous and damaging products like vehicles that are torched, chemicals and oils are being dumped as well.

“It is becoming more and more a problem,” said Pepper.

“We have been working on removing numerous garbage dumps every year, we have a program with watchers or guardians that tour around the reserve and spatially reference each dumpsite. Then we do what we can to keep cleaning them up.”

His said his team did a cleanup Monday morning that encompassed 60 garbage bags worth of junk in just one small cleanup.

“They are not only dumping their garbage. They are going out there, dumping cars, shooting cars up, torching cars,” said Pepper.

“We have campers down on the channel who are heavy drug users so there is a lot of needles and toilets, feces and drug paraphernalia, plus their garbage down there. You can imagine the difficulty in cleaning all these things up.”

Pepper said they now co-ordinating with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the City of Penticton and the RCMP to try and curb this ongoing behaviour.

“It is rampant across the reserve. I think people cross the reserve border and they think it is outside city jurisdiction and they think it is carte blanche approval for them to do what they want,” said Pepper.

“No one entity can deal with this on their own. The PIB is reaching out to the RCMP and the city and the regional district and some NGO groups to try and form coalition to stop illegal dumping.”

One of the sources of the garbage, according to Pepper, is nefarious dumping companies that charge far less than their competitors because they come dump on PIB land.

“Un-reputable companies that tout garbage removal this time of year, they are very cheap, we believe these companies are throwing junk or household waste into their truck and then illegally dumping it,” said Pepper. “That is why they can undercut their competition so much. We have seen the same types of vehicles, because we have hidden cameras set up, come on to the reserve with full loads. I suspect untoward activity like that going on. In addition to people looking for a place in the woods to dump their garbage.”

As for those choosing to illegally dump, Pepper hopes your conscience will come into play.

“If it is a matter of cost, petition the RDOS to reduce or eliminate tipping fees,” said Pepper.

Related: Landfill fees to rise, hours expanding in Okanagan Falls

“If it is a matter of convenience. I would say that there are very long-term impacts that result from what you might think is a simple dump in the woods, the long-term implications are significant. It leeches into the soil, it leeches into water systems, constant environmental damage.

“I would hope people have a conscience. It is well worth your time, think of your karma.”

 

Just Posted

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

A proactive approach to the housing crisis

City staff are recommending Penticton help prepare affordable housing proposals

Summerland’s Justin Kripps completes first double-medal weekend of career

High-powered Canadian bobsledders celebrate four-man silver at World Cup in Igls

Frank Venables Theatre recipient of Canada Cultural Spaces Grant

The Franks Venables Theatre in Oliver has some new gear, thanks to… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Most Read