River heroes earn prizes by reporting

To report illegal trash dumpers, call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) Hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

Conservation officers have been working with the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance to cut down on the rampant illegal dumping across the region.

Conservation officers have been working with the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance to cut down on the rampant illegal dumping across the region.

The partners have been brainstorming ways to put the brakes on illegal garbage dumping on the banks of the mighty Fraser River.

The B.C. Conservation Officers Service will be nominating a “river hero” by putting a name forward, on a monthly basis as incentive for reporting garbage-dumping to the RAPP line.

It’s part of a new effort by the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance, called Reporting Incentives Program, in partnership with COS.

There’s a modest prize to be won.

“We want people to be aware that the reporting of illegal dumping is going on,” said Joe Daniels of Riverkeeper, which is part of the FVIDA.

They just handed out their second prize in November.

“Thanks to a detailed report from this month’s winner that included photographs, the Conservation Officers’ Service was able to track down and charge an offender responsible for illegally dumping yard waste at Gill Road,” said Daniels.

Yard waste is a problem because it can spread invasive plant species, and can contain fertilizers and other chemicals that leach into riparian areas.

COS is trying to get people to use the RAPP line, said Sgt. Steven Jacobi, for the Fraser Valley zone.

Conservation officers have been working with the FVIDA to cut down on the rampant illegal dumping across the valley.

“The biggest thing we are working on is getting people to report violations when they see them to the COS report line,” Sgt. Jacobi told The Progress.

“The more people call, the more we can do about it.”

To earn a prize a would-be “river hero” must witness and report an incident of illegal garbage dumping that leads to a formal charge under the provincial Littering Act.

Signs went up in recent years to drive the anti-dumping message home.

Photos are extremely valuable to investigators but it’s important to never confront a garbage dumper, Daniels underlined.

“We advocate that people stay safe doing it discreetly, and reporting details to the correct authorities.”

Citizens are asked to provide all details about the dumping incident including the make and model, and if possible, the licence plate of the suspect vehicle.

“We are keeping the winners’ names private to protect their anonymity,” said Daniels.

Prizes have been donated by alliance partners like City of Chilliwack, Woodtone and Nikki Rekman Sales. There are no cash prizes.

To make a report, call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) Hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).