Albertans urged to report illegal garbage dumping

Is the August long weekend an ideal time to dump trash in Alberta’s camping regions? The provincial government says no. Definitely not.

It reminded Albertans Aug. 3 to call the Report a Poacher hotline if they see any abuse of public land while they are out and about this weekend or at any time.

In a news release, the government said 2,400 “enforcement actions, prosecutions or written warnings” have already occurred this season.

A particularly egregious incident involved the dumping of 55 commercial air conditioning units in one forested region. Officials have also found abandoned kitchen appliances and vehicles on public lands.

Report a Poacher has received 100 calls to report public land abuse so far this year. Though the name of the line refers to poaching, it is also the way to report major littering or vehicles operating in water bodies or closed areas.

Fines up to $100,000 can apply for dumping garbage on public lands. People can also be ordered to remediate the damage, said the news release.

As examples, “on July 21, an effort to clean up public lands around Fort McMurray cleared out more than 2,400 kilograms of debris from the Highway 63 Trout Pond, including a truck bed and an engine block,” said the release.

“Clean-up efforts at Hilda Lake near Cold Lake in June led to the removal of two abandoned RVs, broken appliances and furniture and enough garbage to fill four industrial-sized dumpsters.”

Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips put Albertans on notice of enforcement to protect public lands.

“Respecting our wild spaces and leaving them in pristine shape is an Albertan thing to do. While summer cleanup campaigns are underway, our enforcement officers are cracking down on individuals caught using public land as their personal dump,” said Phillips.

The Report a Poacher number is 800-642-3800.

Contact barb.glen@producer.com

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