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Gorge cleanup makes progress, but junk still piles up

There’s fewer televisions and computers chucked into the Gorge these days, but a volunteer crew still expects to fill three dumpsters
Gorge cleanup
Roy Scully shows a few treasures fished from the Gorge Waterway during last year’s Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club cleanup effort.

There’s fewer televisions, computers and Chesterfields chucked into the Gorge Waterway these days, but a volunteer crew still expects to fill three dumpsters with trash on Saturday.

Tomorrow is the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club’s 15th annual Gorge Waterway cleanup, which spans Tillicum Bridge to Portage Inlet, and includes estuaries of Colquitz and Craigflower creeks.

Volunteers are dropped off on various shoreline locations along the waterway to pickup garbage, while crews in voyageur canoes fish junk out of the Gorge itself. They time the cleanup for low tide.

“We just want to keep the Gorge beautiful,” said Don Munroe with the VCKC. “We’re lucky to have a waterway like this. It’s special and it’s come along way over the years.”

Munroe said in past years it was common to find TVs, computers, couches and carpets along the shore or in the water, and especially around bridges.

“You’d have to send boats out quite a few times they’d fill up so fast,” he said. “These days there’s not as many big items.”

There’s still no shortage of vandalized stop signs and other road gear, and the waterway is home to a few hotspots for abandoning garbage.

“Really anywhere there’s a bridge, and in Colquitz or Craigflower (creeks). There lots of shopping carts from Tillicum (Centre),” he said.

The Capital Regional District provides gloves and garbage bags, and Waste Management provides the dumpsters and tipping fees. Tim Hortons sponsors the food and drinks.

Volunteers should show up at the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club at 355 Gorge Rd West. by 9 a.m. on April 27. The cleanup runs until 1 p.m.