The only name that sounded fitting to Robert Rice when he saw all of the garbage near his work was “trash-pocalypse.”
Rice works in the industrial area around Brownsville, just south of the Pattullo Bridge, and he said he takes the bus to work and saw how much trash there was on the side of the roads.
“Every time I turn around, there’s more garbage there,” he told the Now-Leader. “We’d be out there every day if we could, ideally, but you’re going to be pulling up a full bag of garbage every 15 metres. It’s unreal.”
On Feb. 19, Rice posted “Trash Talk Tuesday – The Trashpocolypse” on his YouTube channel BEASTCoastAuthentic. It showed some of the worst spots for illegal dumping in the industrial area.
“It’s secluded. From here, you can’t see anything from the highway,” Rice said during a tour of the illegal dumping in the area.
In the video, Rice said he and the Trash Talk team would be partnering with Bins2Go to take on what they call the “Surrey trash-pocalyspe.”
“Somebody has to do it, it’s out of control,” Rice said. “That’s kind of our tagline now.”
He said he reached out to Greg Snurnitsyn of Bins2Go to use their bins for the cleanup of another area, but it was Snurnitsyn who told him how bad the industrial area was.
“He has the bins. We have the manpower and we have the outreach… The funds are going to be a big part of it,” Rice said. “When it comes to things like the drywall, they drywall has to be tested before you can throw it out which is expensive. A lot of it’s dilapidated. It’s been soaking, so it’s all pushed in together. We’ve got car parts. You can’t count how many bumpers and stuff there is.”
Snurnitsyn said for a bin full of mattresses, which there are plenty dumped along 116th Avenue, it would cost somewhere between $399 and $599 to properly dispose of them.
Asked how long he thinks it would take to clean the area, Snurnitsyn said it’s “difficult because you don’t know exactly what you’ve found.”
“There might be some very restricted items that you have to spend extra resources to get rid of. I would say, one week realistically,” said Snurnitsyn, but added that he would tack on an extra week to be on the safe side. “This project could be done within two weeks, and it could be done for about $10 to $12 grand, roughly.”
For Rice, he said it would take some organizing to get everything cleaned up properly.
“You can’t do it all in one go. It has to be done in steps. Ideally, we’ll go through once and we’ll do a big litter pick with a big group of people, and get just the generic, small stuff out. That way we have more room to get it and we’re not fumbling over the little stuff, so we can get ride of the mattresses and the barrels of corrosive stuff.”
But the big question, Rice said, is once it’s clean, how to keep it clean?
For now, though, Rice said he and Snurnitsyn are looking for more volunteers, business to help with the cleanup and the funds to dispose of the trash.
To help, email Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org.