Volunteers rallied to fill and place sandbags during the worst of the Fraser Valley flooding, but now those sandbags need to be disposed of. (Submitted photo)

Volunteers rallied to fill and place sandbags during the worst of the Fraser Valley flooding, but now those sandbags need to be disposed of. (Submitted photo)

City of Chilliwack offers two locations for sandbag disposal

With flood waters receding, thousands of sandbags need to be safely dealt with

With most of the flood waters gone from Yarrow and other parts of the eastern Fraser Valley, the region is left with thousands of sandbags.

The City of Chilliwack has set up two disposal stations, at Townsend Park (45130 Wolfe Road) and Yarrow Sports Field (3635 Savoy Road).

Residents can bring sandbags to either location between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The sites will tentatively be available until December 30. City staff will monitor demand and make adjustments to that schedule as necessary.

People will be required to empty their own sandbags when they drop them off, and sand will then be tested for contaminants. Sand that is free of contaminants will be reused by the city and burlap bags will be composted.

The city recommends wearing gloves and boots when handling sandbags.

“We had a tremendous community response to support people who needed sandbags, and I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time,” said Chilliwack mayor Ken Popove. “Now, as we move towards recovery, it will be important to dispose of these materials safely and responsibly, and hopefully we will be able to reuse some of the sand.”

The city warns residents that sandbags placed outside with normal garbage and recycling will not be picked up.

The city recommends not repurposing sand from sandbags in sandboxes, playgrounds, gardens, and other areas where it may come into contact with people, in case the sand is contaminated by floodwater. The city also warns against emptying sandbags at local creeks/rivers, parks or greenspace.

Guidance on disposing of flood-damaged waste can be found online at chilliwack.com/landfill.

RELATED: Risk of drinking-water contamination from manure increased in flooded areas, says province

RELATED: What’s in the floodwater? Toxicity of water detailed in recent Abbotsford study


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