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

Tour de Rock turns community bubble relay race amid pandemic

Alumni will take on socially distanced leg of race in their hometowns

North Saanich among six communities facing ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Findings appear in a report that also analyzed daycare in Central Saanich and Sidney

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

Most Read