Editorial: Drywall disposal changes raise worry about illegal dumping

We can only hope we won’t now run across it dumped in the woods.

Garbage dumping in the bush is a problem around the Cowichan Valley. (Citizen file)

Garbage dumping in the bush is a problem around the Cowichan Valley. (Citizen file)

We can only hope we won’t now run across it dumped in the woods.

While the cost-benefit analysis done by the Cowichan Valley Regional District is persuasive, there are concerns with the CVRD eliminating its drywall disposal program.

It will get rid of costs, which are not insignificant, of disposing of contaminated material, as well as freeing up staff time for other things.

And there are two private facilities, Fisher Road Recycling and Coast Environmental, that accept drywall.

But if people can’t take it, along with their other waste, to Bings Creek and Peerless Road anymore, we’re concerned it could well end up in the bush instead.

It sometimes ends up in the bush anyway, now, with even more options for disposal open to people.

We’ve seen far too many photos from those who’ve come across piles of garbage either as they use the Cowichan wilderness for recreation or are specifically looking to try to clean up illegal dumping, where old drywall is front and centre.

There’s an argument to be made that those who will dump their drywall in the woods when the CVRD’s transfer stations stop taking it are likely dumping it in the woods already anyway. It’s true, to some extent.

But the more convenient you make things for people the more they will obey the rules, even if it’s just making it so they don’t have to change their habits and do something new.

We imagine that’s one of the reasons the CVRD accepted drywall in the first place.

It’s incredibly sad that we even have to consider possible clean-up costs of illegal dumping in making a decision to save taxpayers money.

It should go without saying that you’re not going to foul our environment. But it doesn’t. So it’s going to be a bit of a wait and see.