Police investigate alleged metal theft from Campbell Mountain landfill

Regional district wants to recoup any losses for material allegedly taken by employee of landfill contractor

Mounties are reinvestigating an allegation of metal theft by an employee of a company that just last week had its contract renewed to provide services at the Campbell Mountain Landfill.

Dan Ashton, chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, said the newest allegation came to light “a few months ago” and the matter was turned over to the RCMP.

Penticton RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said the detachment was first advised of alleged metal thefts at the landfill in 2010, but didn’t pursue the matter.

“My understanding is I believe the regional district dealt with it, but now it’s come to light again,” Dellebuur said.

“We’re just reviewing the previous report and seeing if there’s anything further.”

CHBC News broke the story Tuesday, and reported the employee, identified as Wayne Wedhorn, had for years been allegedly taking copper from the metal recycling pile and selling it on his own. In effect, he is alleged to have stolen from the RDOS, which sells metal and other recyclable material to recoup costs.

Ashton said the RDOS board will discuss the latest allegation at its next board meeting May 17. He expects board members will decide that, “If criminal charges are due that they be proceeded with, and that we get restitution.

“This is taxpayer money and taxpayers need to be compensated for the loss,” Ashton said.

Wedhorn works for SSG Holdings. The Maple Ridge-based company did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Last Thursday, the RDOS agreed to renew a five-year deal with SSG Holdings worth $525,000 plus taxes to operate and maintain equipment at Campbell Mountain.

Ashton does not expect the allegation to sink the deal.

“This is an employee,” he said, “and I would expect the company would be dealing with this appropriately.”

At that same meeting, the RDOS board also awarded two other five-year landfill contracts: a $173,000 deal to B&B Group Ventures Inc. for services in Oliver; and a $389,000 agreement for Wildstone Construction and Engineering to handle duties in Okanagan Falls, which is expected to become a regional hub for mixed demolition waste.