Another forest cleanup in the Okanagan recently brought an astounding amount of garbage out of the backcountry and into a proper landfill.
Volunteers with the Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF) have been hard at work over the last month trying to draw attention to the overwhelming number of illegal dump sites in the valley.
Kane Blake, the group’s organizer, says last Saturday dozens of volunteers helped clean-up the area near Postill Lake Road.
“We pulled out a whopping 4,480 pounds of nails from old pallets that had been burned in just one fire pit up there,” Blake said. “Probably 20 years worth of pallets.”
He says those nails were just half of what is still in the fire pit, and there were at least three more fire pits filled with nails that volunteers were unable to clean up.
“We had to bring a big magnet truck in, thanks to ABC Recycling, that helped to remove the nails.”
Blake says seeing the sheer amount of nails taken out of the fire pit worried many people who regularly enjoy they area — as wildlife and cattle roam through that location.
The Regional Waste Reduction Office once again helped out with the cleanup, offering water, gloves, garbage bags and covering landfill fees.
OFTF started on Facebook and has grown to more than 300 members who are all invested in cleaning up the backcountry.
This week, another illegal dump in the Kelowna area came to light and Kane quickly gathered volunteers to tend to the matter. However by the time he got to the site, the mess appeared to have been cleaned up.
Completely invested in the project, Kane says he is applying to non-profit status which is quite the feat considering the group only organized just over a month ago.
He thanks everyone for their help and time as well as the businesses who have donated garbage bins and food for volunteers.
There are many illegal dump sites in the Okanagan unfortunately, but OFTF hopes to tackle every one over time.
“There are several couches down ravines up in the Postill area that we are working to recover. We will have to rappel down the cliff to hoist them up but we’ll do it,” said an enthusiastic Kane.