A helicopter hired by the province removed 50 totes and four nets from a notorious homeless camp on the Chilliwack River on Dec. 6. Garbage from that and another camp on the Fraser River came in at more than 21,000 pounds.

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

When Natural Resource Officers cleaned up two homeless camps in Chilliwack last week more than 20,000 pounds (9,000 kilograms) of garbage was removed.

Long the subject of complaints over syringes and stolen property, one camp on the banks and on an island in the Chilliwack River was taken down using a helicopter paid for by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

• READ MORE: More than 1,000 syringes found at notorious Chilliwack homeless camp

The second camp was near Island 22 on the banks of the Fraser River a few days later.

“The total weight of the refuse [removed] was 21,540 pounds,” according to a government spokesperson. “Of that, 1,654 pounds of metal was recycled.”

The rest of the garbage was disposed of at a landfill. The cleanup cost was approximately $20,000, a bill paid for by the province.

During the cleanup Dec. 5 and 6, Griffin Security who helped out said they found 1,315 needles at the site just up from the Vedder Bridge near Teskey Rock.

That camp was set up soon after another one not far away was taken down in March. That camp saw the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources remove 17,138 pounds of garbage and hundreds of syringes.

• READ MORE: More than 17,000 pounds of garbage removed from Chilliwack River homeless camp

Neighbours and river users have been complaining about the camp for months because of garbage left behind, evidence of drug use, and obviously stolen property. Natural Resource Officers said the reason it took so long to crack down on the illegal camp was a shortage of resources, as ministry staff were busy all summer into the fall with the wildfires in the interior.

The site was subject to a special order under section 58 of the Forest and Range Practices Act forbidding any camping of any kind by anyone on the property. Camping there is also a violation of the Land Act.

Trespass notices were issued to the campers on Nov. 28, ordering them out within seven to 14 days.

Where the campers went was unclear, although Natural Resource Officers (NRO) at the scene said all those in the camp were co-operative and said they had other places to go.

Unconfirmed reports on social media this week say a camp is set up yet again in the Chilliwack River Valley on the north side, this time deeper in the woods further east of the camp cleaned up Dec. 6.

An even larger homeless camp in Chilliwack on the Kwaw-kwaw-Apilt First Nation behind Townsend Park may be taken down soon, as The Progress has heard reports the people in there were issued eviction notices late last week.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The homeless camp in the banks of the Chilliwack River near the Vedder Bridge. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The homeless camp in the banks of the Chilliwack River near the Vedder Bridge. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The homeless camp in the banks of the Chilliwack River near the Vedder Bridge. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Summer Stories Around Town program encourages outdoor reading in Elk Valley

With storywalks and clothesline stories in Fernie and Sparwood, everyone can get reading

School District 5 identifies funding needs in yearly budget report

The SD5 board presented three main projects that need increased funding in the coming years

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Student athletes recognized for outstanding seasons

Fernie Secondary School students got their awards in a drive by ceremony last week

The Elk Valley celebrates Canada Day

Creative socially distant Canada Day festivities were held in both Fernie and Sparwood this week

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read