COURTENAY, B.C- Jamie Barth has high hopes for the residents of the Comox Valley.

Barth is the man behind Stop Comox Valley Illegal Dumping, a Facebook page dedicated to raising awareness of illegal garbage dumping in the local area, as well as the organization of cleanup efforts.

He started the page around four years ago, and has been working to let people know about illegal dumpsites and coordinate cleanups since the foundation of the page.

In recent weeks, he worked with multiple groups to clean up sites for Earth Day, coordinating with K’ómoks First Nation for Piercy Road and local companies on other locations.

According to a notice he published on the page, a total of 9,174 pounds of illegally dumped material was removed, when all the sites were combined. 1740 kilograms were taken out from Piercy Road, with a further 240 kilograms of metal collected. From a cleanup along Hastings Road, a total of 1530 kilograms of illegal waste was removed, along with 210 kilograms of metal.

A number was still pending for the collected wood waste.

He thanked K’ómoks First Nation, Pacific Woodwaste, B&D Containers, Comox Valley ATV Club, Fanny Bay Residents, and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) for their assistance.

“While the numbers are an important indicator of the problem of illegal dumping we also need to remember getting people out to participate is only one part of the mix,” wrote Barth.

“Having people feel comfortable phoning authorities about illegal dumping, spreading the word about cleanups are also important components.”

Despite the high numbers, Barth believed that the overall situation was getting better, with residents more aware of the problem.

“The word is getting out there that this is not acceptable,” said Barth.

“I’m fond of saying that this isn’t 1970, we don’t drive up the side of a hill and dump it off the side of a road. It’s not what we do. I find more people are sending in tips, either to like minded groups like myself, or the CVRD, and it goes from there. I think we just need to have more people get engaged, and say, yeah, ok, I’m not going to accept the status quo.”

Barth said there has been more support from the community, and more ties to companies in the Valley who are taking action against dumping on their property.

He also had advice for anyone spotting illegal dumping in the area.

“If you see illegal dumping, and you’re comfortable with it, call the CVRD, and say hey, I’ve spotted this illegal dumping,” said Barth.

“Give them the details, and they will act on it.”

Comox Valley residents can call 1-800-331-6007 to report illegal dumping to the CVRD or report online at www.cswm.ca