British Columbia·Video

Volunteers pluck newspaper box, car doors from Fraser River dump

Volunteers in B.C.'s Fraser Valley fished piles of garbage out of the Fraser River this weekend, and the catch ranged from a Globe and Mail newspaper box to diapers, and nearly everything in between.

Illegal dumping plagues isolated road-accessible areas of the Lower Mainland

Volunteers wade into dumping grounds

8 years ago
A Globe and Mail newspaper box was the least of the garbage found in the Fraser River near Chilliwack 2:17

Volunteers in B.C.'s Fraser Valley fished piles of garbage out of the Fraser River this weekend, and the catch ranged from a Globe and Mail newspaper box to diapers, and nearly everything in between.

Every spring for seven years running, hundreds of people come together to clean up the banks of the river just outside Chilliwack at Gill Bar.

In the summer, the area is filled with campers and hikers. It's also a spawning ground for salmon. But in the winter, some people come to the relatively isolated spot, 20 minutes outside of town, and use it as a dumping ground.

Tyee Bridge, a Fraser Riverkeeper and one of the cleanup's organizers, said the team found appliances, car doors, and even chemicals.

"People just think it's OK, 'this is Crown land, I can do what I want,' and so they don't have an understanding that garbage doesn't just go anywhere. It's gotta go to the dump. We've got to keep these areas separate, we've got to protect and keep our rivers safe," he said.

Over the past seven years, the team has collected 32 tonnes of trash from the area, some of which would otherwise have drifted downriver into the Strait of Georgia.

The CBC's Deborah Goble met up with Bridge and a number of volunteers at the river's edge: Click on the video thumbnail above to see some of what they found.

With files from the CBC's Deborah Goble


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