Feature Story                                                            Thursday, Sept 8, 2016


Things That Go Dump in the Night 

When recyclers won't take gyproc

Staff/Voice photos


Garbage dumped along Cartmell on Native band land caught fire late last August.

ach spring, Chilliwack environment groups fill up two or three dump trucks of garbage from areas along the river where people are known to party and jettison their trash. If these local groups didn't offer to go out and clean it, think of what it would look like after a few years.

A thick column of heavy black smoke rose against the azure sky in the final week of August. Firefighters set off down Cartmell Rd. following the smoke. At first, it was thought to be from a cornfield nearby. However, as soon as the crews arrived, they found a huge pile of dumped garbage burning. An orange sign at the top of the farm field road indicated in big black letters "No Dumping".

It's unclear how the fire began, but sometimes metal collectors use fire to melt plastic off things like wires, and then it all catches fire.


Among the mountainous heap of junk on Native band land, adjacent to the corn were a car starter, skids, plastics. ... mortar, drywall, plaster, cellulose, fibreglass fibres, lumber of all kinds of things which are toxic if burned.


The pile was growing in leaps and bounds. Someone threw a truckload of clothes next to the pile that was burning. Next to that, a contractor dumped a load of gyproc.

Some of the older type of gyproc and wallboard from homes being demolished is toxic with asbestos fibres in it. Reports are more workers are dying from asbestosis. Most dumps in the Lower Mainland won't take gyproc.

Someone tossed a truckload of gyproc wallboard out alongside a cornfield August 25.

This in itself is the problem. If people cant take it to the dump then we're going to be tasked with cleaning it up. Until these dumps find a way to manage it properly, we're going to find piles of gyproc on the riverbanks.

Crews extinguished the blaze, then tore it apart with hooked poles and hit it with more water to make sure that it was out. It's not clear if the City was going to be responsible for clearing it up.

A good point of reference is that, we don't own the land we're caretakers of it for the future.


Report illegal dumpers to RAPP (Report all Poachers and Polluters) is a provincial hotline used to report wildlife-human interactions where public safety may be at risk. Available 24/7 RAPP is toll free tip line (1-877-952-7277)


See more photos below.

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