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.

 

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

Invermere gets new CAO

Invermere found his new CAO after a long period of research.

Radium council discusses short term rentals

RHS council are elaborating the second draft plan for STR

Farmers’ Institute report highlights emerging local food scene

Beef cattle ranching remains mainstay of valley agriculture

Beautification process begins in Canal Flats downtown

Canal Flats wants to improve the esthetic of the town

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Most Read