Many people drive, ride and walk along Abbotsford’s quiet country roads to enjoy the peaceful rural nature.
Other people use them as a garbage dump.
Chris Croner operates a blueberry farm on Hallert Road, and three months ago decided to volunteer with Adopt A Street. He gets into his pickup truck about once a month and picks up litter from the base of Sumas Mountain to the Abbotsford/Mission Highway.
And he’s disgusted by what he finds.
He regularly fills the bed of his truck with the trash he collects. Plastic tarps, insulation, milk cartons and five-gallon hydraulic fluid jugs were just some of his latest finds.
“This road is part of the [Trans] Canada Trail,” said Croner, who has run the farm with his partner for the past 30 years.
He said people should be proud of their community, and take their trash to the landfill instead of pitching it into rural ditches.
Croner also encouraged people to volunteer for something like Adopt A Street.
“Be involved with your community. Don’t be afraid,” he said.
The City of Abbotsford shelled out $50,000 last year for illegal dumping. It costs taxpayers about $100 an hour for equipment and staff to retrieve and dispose of the trash, according to Jim Gordon, general manager of engineering and regional utilities. The cost rises if it’s hazardous materials, for which the municipality must bring in a contractor.
There are a number of problem dumping areas that the city checks monthly, including the Page Road quarry, Watson Road, Bates Road, Peardonville and Echo roads, and Lower Sumas Mountain Road east of Carnarvon Court, he said.
The type of trash varies from household garbage near the quarry, to illegal grow-op materials and construction waste at the other hot spots.
The City of Abbotsford’s volunteer coordinator, Alanna Carmichael, said the municipality is always looking for program volunteers, including Adopt A Street.
The annual Community Clean-Up Week – organized by the city – takes place April 19-25, and Carmichael said it’s a good time to sign up. Volunteers are issued safety vests, litter pickers, bags and gloves. The time commitment is up to the individual.
For more information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call Carmichael at 604-557-7050.