District of Mission crews picked up illegally dumped garbage on Gunn Avenue last week.

Illegal dumping an ongoing problem in Mission

Two-thirds of the district's budget allocated to deal with the issue has already been used up.

About $35,000 is spent cleaning up illegal dumped garbage around the community every year.

From dirty adult diapers to drywall waste and old car parts, it seems people will leave just about anything on public spaces for district staff to pick up.

But this year, the problem appears to be getting worse. Two-thirds of the district’s budget allocated to deal with the issue has already been used up.

‘We’re at $26,000 already with over two-thirds of the year left to go,” said Mission’s public works operations manager Matt Dunham.

There are some problem areas in town, like on Stave Lake Road from 7th to 9th Avenue, but the issue mostly lies in the rural areas. Tyler Street, Nelson Street, Dewdney Trunk Road, and Clay Street are areas that have been littered with unwanted material recently.

Last week district crews found a substantial amount of trash on Gunn Avenue, like someone had been dumping garbage out of their truck while driving down the road, said Dunham.

But it’s not just household trash plaguing Mission. The district spends tens of thousands more on illegally dumped garbage that are related to drugs or other chemicals.

“Those sites are handled differently and involve many more different departments,” explained Dunham. “I have seen those (numbers) as high as $60,000.”

Several weeks ago, a 45-gallon drum filled with an unknown substance was found at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac at Silver Creek Industrial Park, but workers were advise by the fire chief not to open it, move it, or dispose of it because its contents had not been ascertained.

Some municipalities are finding “seriously large synthetic drug dumps,” said Fire Chief Larry Watkinson, noting the contents inside could be dangerous.

Days later, firefighters determined the drum contained a petroleum-based substance and Dunham received a quote of $7,000 to remove it. If the contents cannot be determined, a hazmat team has to be called in and the bill will increase.

About one drum a month is being reported to the district, but crews are finding used motor oil every week on the side of the road, which is alarming Mission Mayor Randy Hawes.

“There is so much of it, we have to do something,” said Hawes, who is proposing a reward for information leading to the conviction of anyone responsible. “We’ll be looking to make an example of someone. It just can’t keep happening.”

The mayor suspects truckers who change their oil on their own are not properly disposing of the material.

“We know it’s not oil from a car shop because they get paid for their waste oil,” said Hawes.

Mission’s director of development services, Mike Younie said it will take “a bit of backbone” to pursue the people responsible for the litter. District staff will propose some options on how to proceed and the matter will be discussed by council at a later date that has not yet been determined.

 

Just Posted

Rockslide closes Coquihalla northbound

Highway 5 is closed in both directions according to DriveBC

UPDATE: Wind warning has ended for Metro Vancouver

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read