Illegal dump cleaned up by non-profit

Organizer Kane Blake of the Okanagan Forest Task Force cleans up an illegal dump site.

From roses, to permission slips, to UPS receipts — Kane Blake of Okanagan Forest Task Force packed up five bags of garbage from a forest service road.

Kane says he was alerted to the illegal dump on Monday morning through the OFTF Facebook page.

“I just went up and dealt with the dump myself, it took a couple hours and I packed about five garbage bags up and took it too the landfill,” he said, explaining it only cost about $10 to drop off.

This was the first time this year the organizer, of the non-profit organization that voluntarily cleans up the backcountry, has been out to an illegal dump.

“The weather hasn’t been favourable to be driving through the forest and look for dumps,” said Blake.

While at the dump, near Myra Canyon, Blake says Conservation Officers showed up.

“They helped me with some of the garbage and told me they were going to go to the address written on some of the envelopes that were dumped, because they live nearby.”

However, Blake thinks the visit will be a lost cause.

“It’s hard to prove who dumped the garbage, there was no eye witness and these people could say someone stole their garbage and dumped it in the woods,” he explained.

He says he felt the need to get on the situation quickly, because garbage begets garbage.

“I am sure this will be a very busy year for us,” said Blake. “I have a new truck, with logo, so people will be better able to recognize us when we are in the backcountry doing a cleanup. Also I can take a lot more with this big truck, and tow an excavator.”

While Blake handled this illegal dumpsite on his own he will start looking for volunteers to help with more cleanups in the spring.

“This year we are also working with an outdoor outfitter a getting many more game cameras to catch people in the act and work to have them charged to the max.”

Last year OFTF was responsible for removing 76,000 pounds of illegally dumped garbage from the forest.

OFTF will be joining Shaw on April, 1 for a cleanup of Bartley Road in West Kelowna. To learn more click here and check out a new app called Clean the Creek, that allows you to take a photo of an illegal dump and send OFTF organizers a full GPS location with your photo. The app is free and will work out of cell service range.

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Dump site cleared. Image Credit: Kane Blake

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