Editorial: There’s a price tag for illegal dumping

There’s no excuse for this anti-social behaviour.

Illegal dumping has been a plague on the Cowichan Valley for years, and the latest victim is the Bannon Creek Forest Reserve.

Last week we ran a story from our sister-paper in Ladysmith about the scale of the problem at the site. Photos of the area show everything from a discarded boat to the usual old clothes, wood and other debris. It’s a big issue.

Not only is it disgusting to come across garbage dumped in our beautiful wilderness areas, making them into refuse piles, but it’s also incredibly polluting and even dangerous.

There’s no excuse for this anti-social behaviour. Many of the unwanted items could be discarded free of charge through your curbside garbage collection or a quick trip to the transfer station. Some of the things, yes, you would have to pay to throw out. But that’s your responsibility. Don’t buy it in the first place if you can’t afford to see it through its entire lifespan. It is not on others to have to pay your tab because you’re too cheap or too lazy, or both, to properly dispose of your stuff.

It’s baffling how someone who seems to be able to afford to own and run a truck in order to haul their stuff out to where they dump it would pinch pennies on a little trash disposal. Because most of this stuff probably accumulated at someone’s house a little at a time, until it turned into a something that could no longer be ignored. The cost of the gas alone that it took to haul this stuff into the bush could have gone a good way toward paying for proper disposal.

Many of these wilderness areas belong to all of us for our enjoyment. They’re not your garbage bin. We can only hope that if you recognized some of the stuff out there as your deposit you’re ashamed and embarrassed enough now not to do it again.

Some of this stuff contains chemicals that leach into the ground and water around it, poisoning our environment. Think before you decide to illegally discard your things. In the end, the price tag is too high, for all of us.

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