British Columbia

Volunteers remove industrial waste from popular off-roading beach in Richmond

For the fifth time in three years, volunteers have picked up waste illegally dumped at Triangle Beach.

'Please do not dump your stuff in my backyard,' says volunteer concerned about illegal dumping

Volunteers collected this pile of garbage from the Triangle Beach area in Richmond B.C., on Sunday. (Enzo Zanatta/CBC)

For the fifth time in three years, a team of volunteers has removed illegally dumped waste from a popular off-road site in Richmond, B.C.

Triangle Beach, off Number 6 Road, is a popular site for people to drive off-road vehicles through mud and sand.

It's also a popular place for the dumping of industrial waste like tiles, cement and cable.

David Clarke, who lives in North Vancouver, took his nephew driving at the site two-and-a-half years ago. The pair noticed all the waste and decided to do something about it.

David Clarke has been organizing a cleanup of the Triangle Beach area since 2017. (Enzo Zanatta/CBC)

Since 2017, Clarke has organized a cleanup through the Four Wheel Drive Association of B.C. on the last Sunday of every May and the first Sunday of September.

"The first year we couldn't get it all clean, it was that bad," he said.

He says the first year around 100 volunteers pulled out around 6,000 kilograms of waste.

This pile of cable was illegally dumped at the Triangle Beach off-road area. (Enzo Zanatta/CBC)

"It's been getting less and less, just because we have made such an impact and, even though the dumping is still happening, we're on top of it and we are making a huge difference in just getting this whole area clean," he said.

Illegal dumping is a problem across Metro Vancouver, with construction waste tossed illegally to avoid fees at dumps.

Richmond says illegal dumping is increasing in the city, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars each year.

"Illegal dumping is harmful to our environment, unsightly and illegal," it says on its website.

The cleanup attracts about 100 volunteers and removes thousands of kilograms of waste. (Enzo Zanatta/CBC)

People can be fined $1000 for illegal dumping under Richmond's bylaws, which also require dumpers to remove the waste and restore the area.

The city also offers a $200 reward for residents if they report illegal dumping and it leads to a bylaw conviction.

'Do not dump'

Clarke's cleanup event of Triangle Beach was bolstered with volunteers from Telus, whose employees are encouraged to give their time through a program called Days of Giving.

Mary Ann Marsh was one of them. The Steveston resident says she'd like people to be more considerate about dealing with waste.

"Please do not dump your stuff in my backyard," she said.

It is illegal to dump waste on city lands in Richmond. (Enzo Zanatta/CBC)

With files from Enzo Zanatta.

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