Volunteers clean up after others

Last week I walked into Westside Stores and was immediately confronted by the owner, Jason Bellows.

Last week I walked into Westside Stores and was immediately confronted by the owner, Jason Bellows.

“So what are you doing on Saturday?”

The question was straightforward and simple enough – my response equally as simple. “Why?”

Bellows then informed me that he was putting together a volunteer work party to clean up a bunch of garbage that someone had dumped alongside a back road out in the Sunnybrae area.

“Sure, count me in,” I said. “I’ve got nothing better to do – not that I know of anyhow.”

And so a group numbering 11 of us gathered on a dreary, rainy Saturday morning at the store. We then proceeded to head out in a convoy of half-a-dozen pickup trucks.

Winding our way up a steep back road, we came upon a fellow working to clear the road of boulders that had come down with the rain that had started the night before.

Undaunted, and with spirits undampened, we sat in our vehicles and waited. The road was soon cleared and we continued on, followed by the fellow with the front-end loader. It would seem that Mr. Bellows has a real knack for getting people to volunteer.

Continuing on our way, we eventually arrived at the site where some person or persons unknown had dumped all sorts of garbage – everything from an old mattress to a metal swing set, not to mention a prescription medicine bottle with a name on it. The bottle has subsequently been handed over to the proper authorities. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.

Enough hands, however, made light work of our task and the site was soon cleaned up. Job done.

Not quite. One of the members of our volunteer work party mentioned that there was even more garbage, a lot more garbage, that people have been dumping along Shaw Road – just past the industrial park. So off our little band of volunteers headed.

What we saw upon our arrival was disgusting, to say the very least. We found everything from discarded window frames and broken glass to animal carcasses, an old freezer and used diapers. There was an old La-Z-Boy chair and quite a few bags of garbage neatly placed in garbage bags. I mention the La-Z-Boy chair only because ‘lazy’ might be an operative word here.

Laziness, complete disregard for the environment, who knows? The question certainly arises why, if someone took the time to put their garbage into garbage bags, did they not simple leave it out to be collected or take it to the CSRD landfill site?

Perhaps the question was answered, in part, by the fact that as we came down Shaw Road with close to a ton of illegally dumped garbage in four pickup trucks and a trailer, we saw a nice new, expensive looking, pickup truck heading up the road with a whole bunch of garbage bags in the back. I guess with having to make payments on a truck like that they have to cut a few corners. Who knows?

One thing that I do know for sure is that last Saturday, 11 people cared enough to spend a good part of their day in the rain, picking up after those people who simply don’t care.

I take my hat off to Leigh Mulroy, Alex McIntosh, Tiffany and Elizabeth Palamar, Melissa Hammer, Doug Palmer, Julian Kuna, Grant Hiebert and Sarah Simpson. I would especially like to thank Jason Bellows. “Thank you for letting me be a part of your clean-up crew.”

As for the person or persons unknown who dumped all that trash along that back road in Sunnybrae and Shaw Road, not only is it plain and simply wrong to dump garbage, it is also an illegal act and subject to fines. Your actions will not always go unnoticed and hopefully one of these days you will have to be accountable for your actions in court.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteers step up during pandemic to work on Shuswap trails

New Shuswap Memorial Cemetery Trails loop ready to hike and ride

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

B.C. forestry policy and practices challenged at Shuswap rally

Salmon Arm Rally for the Forests one of 16 similar events held Friday

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read