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The original item was published from 6/1/2016 4:28:00 PM to 6/11/2016 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: May 31, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Community Asked to Help Stop Illegal Dumping in Cowichan

While many Cowichan residents appreciate the community’s wooded areas as great places to go for a hike and explore nature, not everyone is treating these areas with respect. Some residents are destroying these natural areas by using them as garbage dumps.

This spring, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is launching a campaign to highlight the problem of illegal dumping in the Cowichan Region, with an initial focus on the Hillcrest Road area – a hotspot for illegal dumping.

“The Hillcrest Road area is one of the worst illegal dump sites in the region, probably because it is right off the highway and close to the city,” explains Board Chair Jon Lefebure. “Unfortunately, it is difficult to enforce fines without information that identifies the dumpers. Knowing Hillcrest is a popular area for outdoor enthusiasts and recreation groups, we are asking for the community’s help in this program.”

The CVRD is asking residents who live near Hillcrest Road, or spend time in this area, to safely document as much information about violators and their vehicles as possible. This information should be reported to the Ministry of Environment’s 24-hour hotline (RAPP line) at 1-877-952-7277 (#7277 from cellphones). Anyone caught will be subjected to a $2,000 fine.

Aside from asking residents to keep their eyes open and report identifying information, the campaign will also involve stepping up monitoring in hotspot areas and providing education about options for responsible waste management.

“Ironically, Hillcrest Road is located only a few kilometers from the region’s main recycling facility, Bings Creek Recycling Centre,” observes Jason Adair, Operations Superintendent, Recycling and Waste Management. “In many cases, the dumped items can be recycled for free or for a small fee just down the road.”

“When the cost of driving out to these rural areas to dump waste is factored in, properly disposing of waste at one of the many public or private facilities is far less expensive. The cost to taxpayers is lower as well when staff time is not needed to investigate illegally dumped garbage.”

Given the affordability and accessibility of recycling facilities in our region, it is puzzling why people continue to dump their unwanted items in the woods.

“I think there are a number of reasons why people dump illegally,” says Adair, “including lack of awareness about how easy and inexpensive recycling is in our region, laziness and a disconnect between how dumping waste impacts all of us. It doesn’t take much for illegally dumped material to pollute our surface and groundwater and cause long-lasting environmental damage.”

The CVRD’s “Help Stop Illegal Dumping Campaign” sends a strong message to illegal dumpers that the community is watching and polluters won’t get away with destroying our natural spaces.

Visit for more information on the education campaign.

Illegal dumping information