David Flexhaug is a one-man cleaning crew. The local resident volunteers two to three days a week to keep the Silver Skagit Road area clean. He has taken more than 300 bags of garbage out of the forest and into the landfill.

Trash troubles plague Hope area

Dumping is an ongoing problem in the Silver Skagit region

Garbage has become an ongoing issue in the Silver Skagit area.

Campers, hikers, party goers and even people dumping trash they’d rather not pay to get rid of at the local landfill, are using back roads to dispose of their litter.

It’s not a new problem, but it’s one David Flexhaug would like to see stopped.

The Hope resident has dedicated countless hours to cleaning up the area along Silver Skagit Road. Two or three times a week he and his wife Terry go out with a truck and dozens of garbage bags to pick up litter left behind by others.

“There’s lots of grad parties up here at this time of year. I’ve cleaned up many already. Some people respect the bush and pack out what they bring in. But, a lot of the people don’t and that’s why I carry on this service,” said Flexhaug.

He is carrying on the work started by Don Bush, several years ago.

“Don wanted to know where his water source came from and came up here,” explained Flexhaug

Bush noticed things in the creek – garbage, paint cans and even a motor home – and started coming up once a week to clean up.

By chance, he ran into Flexhaug who decided to lend a hand.

Health issues forced Bush to stop, but Flexhaug has continued on.

“Last year was the first full year doing it by myself.”

In that year he cleared more than 300 bags of garbage, four television sets, construction material and even two freezers filled with rotten fish.

He gets no money for his efforts. However the District of Hope does allow him to take the garbage he collects to the landfill for free.

The only problem is after a hard weekend of garbage collection, the dump is closed on Mondays.

“I load my carport up with garbage so the bears don’t get into it.”

As well as cleaning up garbage, Flexhaug hands out garbage bags to people he meets in the area and has several garbage cans that he monitors.

He feels the message he’s trying to promote is starting to stick.

“People are catching on a little bit,” he said.

He and his wife patrol from the start of Silver Skagit Road all the way to kilometre 19.

He said it’s a large area, and sometimes a daunting task, but as a nature lover and hunter, it’s worth it.

“Some days I come up and see the deer and the bears and it’s rewarding.”

Other nature enthusiasts share a similar story.

John Lang a director at the Hope Mountain Centre said several volunteers went out at the end of May to clean up an area by Silver Creek.

The group cleared everything from mattresses to picture frames, toilets to  roof shingles.

“It’s that time of year again, when the annual spring clean up ends up being dumped into the forests, creeks and rivers that surround our town,” said Lang.

He said it’s an ongoing problem where people, not wanting to pay the landfill fees, merely drive into the wilderness and dump their garbage.

There’s even one person who continuously drops of bags of used kitty litter.

John Fortoloczky, Hope’s chief administrative officer said the district is aware that the area is often used for dumping. However, it is difficult to prevent the actions unless witnessed. He also noted that a majority of the Silver Skagit Road area lies outside of Hope’s boundaries.

Hope RCMP Staff Sgt. Suki Manj said they do receive the odd call regarding dumping and do investigate, but unless something left behind can help identify the person responsible, little can be done.

Just Posted

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

VIDEO: Olympic medalist teaches swimming in Hope

Brent Hayden fondly remembers local swim meet from his youth

Metro gas prices hit 155.7 cents a litre and higher

Lower Mainland could see 1.60 cents by April

Free parking not in the cards for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chair says board may look at ways to make parking easier, but not free

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Lower Mainland rabbits confirmed killed by highly-infectious virus

Feral colony on Annacis Island in Delta died from hemorrhagic disease. Pet rabbits could be at risk

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Vaping device overheats, burns down home on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo Fire Rescue says units could cause fires in other homes and even aircraft

Most Read