400 tires salvaged from huge illegal dump site in Okanagan set to be recycled

A B.C. tire recycling organization has removed around 400 abandoned tires from an illegal dump site on provincial land near the Okanagan community of Peachland.

Tires will be turned into products such as imitation bark mulch or rubber padding for playgrounds

Around 400 tires were found abandoned on crown land near Peachland, B.C., along with tonnes of other refuse. (Regional District of the Central Okanagan)

A recycling organization has removed around 400 abandoned tires from a huge illegal dump site on provincial land near the Okanagan community of Peachland, B.C.

A total of more than 12 tonnes of junk was removed from the site, which was discovered by the local fire department in the backcountry between Peachland and West Kelowna last fall.

The area was littered with a swath of debris including broken appliances, household garbage, old vehicles, construction and renovation waste, and even trailers.

Last month, the Regional District of the Central Okanagan (RDCO) organized a cleanup effort. Employees from a nearby West Kelowna lumber mill and volunteers from the Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF) pitched in to help. 

Volunteers removed 12 tonnes of material from the dump site in May, including abandoned vehicles, broken appliances and discarded construction and renovation material. (Regional District of the Central Okanagan )

"[It was] definitely a big undertaking. I mean, definitely one of the biggest we've seen in one area," said Kane Blake, head of the OFTF.

"It's not something that had happened overnight, by the looks of it. It had been there for many years and it just grew and grew and grew."

On Tuesday, Tire Stewardship B.C. hauled away 400 tires that had been left for them by cleanup volunteers.

The nonprofit society, which is is responsible for tire recycling in the province, contacted the RDCO after it heard of the large number of tires at the site.

Converted into new products

"You have a very unsightly waste ... And when you have an industry that can recycle these tires and also give back to the community, I look at it as a bit of a win-win for all," said Tire Stewardship B.C. executive director Rosemary Sutton.

The used tires will be hauled to a processing plant in Mission, B.C., and ground down into small pieces.

From there, the rubber will be converted into products such as imitation bark mulch or padding for playgrounds.

The tires will be processed into small pieces of rubber and then converted into products like imitation bark mulch and rubber padding for playgrounds and splash parks. (Tire Stewardship B.C.)

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