The hills of Summerland are alive with the sight of garbage.
While many people united on Earth Day to promote respect for the earth’s environmen, others are choosing to scar the natural habitat by dumping unsightly loads of garbage in the hills around town.
One of the favourite dumping sites is in the hillsides west of Summerland, only a short distance from the landfill.
Some have suggested that this behaviour is due to the fees involved for using the landfill, but many of the items being illegally dumped are accepted at the landfill at no charge.
Such recyclable items include appliances, electronics, propane tanks, batteries, clean scrap metal, as well as yard and wood waste. There is also an oil drop off site for oil, oil containers, and oil filters.
Bylaw enforcement officer, Gary Ellis said he gets about a half a dozen dumping complaints each year. Often people are dumping far enough off the road so as not to be seen.
“If we catch someone, charges can be laid,” he said. In some cases people will dump their belongings and then leave the province, he added.
In the past the town has put in ditches to keep people out of the area, Ellis explained, but that has not worked as many residents use the area for recreation and soon the ditches have been driven through so often that they are no longer effective.
Over the years volunteer organizations as well as small groups of people have gotten together to clean the area up.
“We want to say thank you to these people for doing this,” said Ellis.
“We all live here and pay taxes and no one wants to see an unsightly mess.”
He hopes that the individuals using the hills to dump their belongings will be more considerate of others and take their garbage to the landfill.