For some it seems Postill Lake Road in Kelowna is a Forest Dump where life is like a box of garbage.
Dozens of volunteers with the Okanagan Forest Task Force over the weekend found that box full of 22 thousand 700 pounds of waste.
They go up regularly to scour the area where people just keep dumping garbage that should go to a landfill or recycling.
The total over 10 months is 111 thousand pounds.
This weekend they found 15 thousand 880 pounds of scrap metal and 6 thousand 834 pounds of garbage.
It turned out to be one of their biggest cleanups yet.
They’ve found just about anything you can imagine, including pollutants.
Various companies help out by donating equipment from a Bobcat and bins to shovels, rakes and bags.
KHS Landscaping brought two landscaping crews with trucks and trailers and equipment.
ABC Recycling lent a big magnet truck to pick up nails.
Organizer Kane Blake says he feels sheer disgust that people don’t seem to get it or care.
“We’ve all had a family pet, and when they’re sick or hurt we are their voice, we take them to the vet. Nobody is speaking up for the wildlife walking through the broken glass or the nails or getting tangled in Christmas lights dumped in the bush or volleyball nets. They suffer in silence.”
Any identifying factors found in the garbage are always provided to police and government officials, but Blake says more need to be done.
His organization is now feeling the need to publicly shame those that have documentation in the mess.
“We will do it now. People need to be made an example of for people to change. We didn’t want to do it, but nothing is changing. If we catch someone dumping on one of our cameras, it will be on the news. It is time to grow up,” said Blake.
The Task Force will also be working with local politicians to advocate for tougher laws when it comes to illegal dumping.
“We want the law to be that if your personal info is found in the garbage, you are held responsible,” said Blake.
The group itself is starting to get worldwide recognition for their hard work.
Blake has received contact from cities and individuals in other provinces and countries asking about how they do what they do and how they may be able help each other in the future.
Who he doesn’t hear from he says is government.
“They have not reached out to help us funding wise, or offered to see how they can help. The government needs to step up. We need funding. How much wear and tear am I going to put on my own equipment without seeing a dime of help before I call it quits and go broke? “We are doing their job for free.”