Not so long ago I participated in a Silviculture conference in the West Kootenays. During the 2 day workshop we visited sites in the forest where forest management topics were presented and discussed. We piled into our rented vans, toured up and down gravel roads, hopped out at designated sites and had our discussions. As the day progressed, the conversations in the van kept shifting back to the almost standard ugly pile of garbage garnishing every first stretch of gravel road leaving the highway. Stoves, fridges, sofas, bags of household trash, garden clippings, roofing, well, most know the sight from their trip to the landfill. Except, some folks never seem to visit there because ….?

Littering is a widespread problem owned by a small number of individuals and what is an easy way out for some, is a drain and shame on the neighborhood who lives and recreates there. Littering is a fine-able offense under Part 2 Section 12 of the Environmental Management Act, which is enforced by the Conservation Officer. We have several sites within the KDCFS tenure that have become habitual dump locations and adjacent land owners rightfully resent living in the mess that others leave them with. While the dumping of garden clippings seems benign, household garbage is obviously not. But hold on: maybe garden clippings warrant another look. Apart from messing up a roadside, are these invasive species being set free into the wild? Maybe evicted from a garden because of prolific overgrowth? The truth is that neither belongs into our natural spaces. The Village of Kaslo does pick up garden clippings twice a year, and the RDCK allows free dumping of garden residue at the landfill in the spring and fall.

We have received requests from the community to guard locations where littering occurs in our tenure and have consulted with the RCMP and RDCK. We will step up our surveillance, identification of offenders, attempts to educate and reporting to the law enforcing agencies. We encourage the community to assist and report to KDCFS management or directly to the RCMP/Conservation Officer. We also appreciate any suggestions from the community how this problem may be managed to provide a lasting solution.

One submission received: If you are a resident hiring help to deliver your garbage to the landfill, please request a landfill delivery/payment receipt and follow up to ensure your load was delivered.