A pop-up cleanup along a Chilliwack river edge netted much of the usual trash, and some not-so-commonly found items.
Among the food garbage, plastics and discarded camping items, a group cleaning up the Vedder River stumbled upon a bag of discarded, dirty and unwrapped sex toys.
It was probably the most surprising find for the group, which formed on Facebook over the last month by organizer Nita Vallillee.
“This was an event created by myself as my family and I discovered all that mess about a month ago,” Vallillee said. “We had to wait for the snow to melt to be effective in our clean up effort.”
That was about one month ago, and dozens off people showed up for the cleaning event held Sunday, March 24. The ad-hoc group consisted of families, four-wheel drivers, kayakers, hikers, and others just wanting to keep the rivers clean. Because this event is a non-sponsored one, volunteers had to bring all their supplies to the site, to the 46100 block of Chilliwack Lake Road.
There were areas that they couldn’t clean up, Vallillee says, because they were still being used.
“There were two very large active sites that I have had some aggressive verbal contact with, so we avoided them,” she said. “It was brought to my attention that one of the camps was cooking meth, too. Yikes.”
The camps that were still occupied were the ones that had the most trash, she added.
In total, they cleaned up about 600 lbs of trash, including shopping carts, tires, propane tanks, lawn chairs, burnt clothing, food waste, hundreds of needles which were mostly uncapped, assorted plastic items, a kids bike stroller, burned tent frames and old tent poles, sheet metal, and the curious bag of sex toys.
“I am very satisfied with the results and plan on having Griffin evict the other camps to do a proper clean up,” she said. And she’s not done with her efforts. Vallillee has a few other areas in her sites for future pop-up cleanups. This clean up was in addition to the annual one held by the Chilliwack Vedder Cleanup Society. That event takes place on April 13.