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

West Kootenay transfer stations and landfills will take essential garbage only during pandemic

Areas with curbside pickup should not use Grohman transfer station, RDCK says

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes the Kootenays

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout parts of B.C. and Alberta

Burning ban issued for Nelson area

All open burning is prohibited to reduce COVID-19 respiratory risk

LETTER: Health care workers are the unsung heroes of pandemic response

It’s not only doctors and nurses, says Dr. Kevin McKechnie

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

Most Read