While quading last weekend, Bonnyville Bantam Bandit coach, Robbie Cole came across a massive garbage pile at Foley Pits, just west of Camp St. Louis on Moose Lake. The coach had seen garbage dumped on crown land before and decided to take action into his own hands by organizing a cleanup. Cole explains it would be a great learning opportunity for his team.
“You get them out there cleaning up, when it comes to them making a decision, whether they should throw something in the bush or not, maybe this will help them make the right decision.” Cole says he immediately volun-told his club to be at the pits for cleanup Saturday. “I hated explaining to my 5 year old nephew why there’s so much garbage everywhere,” Cole says he went for a rip in the sandpits and it was just everywhere. “There was garbage under the sand, even. It was terrible.”
Determining who’s responsible for the cleanup is another issue, because the land is Crown Land, neither the Town or the MD of Bonnyville are technically responsible for the cleanup. The MD is getting involved by providing bins, says Cole, but going forward there’s not municipality or cleanup in place if this happens again. In fact, Cole says over the years he’s come across this issue a lot.
“I have people calling and texting me asking if I can organize cleanups in their areas,” Cole explains the problem is bigger than the Foley Pits. “I work for some people who own, quite a bit of land, 19 quarter sections, it’s a never-ending battle. They go down to their land near Muriel Lake and there’s couches, TVs, and large items. Dumped right at their gate. They’ve caught people by going through the grarbage a little bit and finding documents or receipts.” This isn’t the first time landowners have called out garbage dumpers on Facebook, says Cole. “They’ve posted names on Facebook it just didn’t get as much traction as my post.” Cole received 22,000 shares when he called out the Foley Pits litterers. Since posting on Facebook, local companies jumped at the opportunity to help cleanup and provide support.
“Even along the road, I live on Moose Lake, the Fountaine Subdivision, there’s the odd time there’s couches right in the ditch and that’s a very high-traffic area,” Cole says he heard of an incident recently near Bear Trap where a bunch of large items, couches, dressers, etc were pushed into a pile and burned. Part of the problem is people are being charged to dispose of large items at the dump. Cole wonders if doing away with this fee would make people more responsible and actually haul the items to the dump. Admittedly, this isn’t his department, but he has contacted the MD, the Town, and RCMP to make sure they are aware of the situation.
I don’t have the answers to how to stop it, but at least we can clean it up a bit – Robbie Cole
If you would like to help clean the Foley Pits, Cole, along with volunteers and the Bonnyville Bandits football club will be at the pits from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (or until the job is done). For location or more information call/text Robbie Cole 780-826-0075.