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Nearly 47,000 pounds of illegal garbage removed from Wapiti Dunes

Nearly 47,000 pounds, or 21 tonnes of garbage was removed from the Dunes recreation area this weekend, thanks to the work of 83 volunteers. In addition to man power, Secure Energy Services helped provide pickups and picker trucks for the annual clean up. General Manager of Environment, Regulatory and Land Greg Smith says it was easy to convince the waste management company to get involved.

“Grande Prairie has the luxury, I guess, of having that unique area – not a lot of communities have places like that – and it being abused it just unacceptable. Our company has a strong social conscience so it’s kind of an easy fit for us.”

Over the past five years almost 450,000 pounds has been hauled out of the area, not including burnt vehicles, of which 25 were recently removed. Brandt Tractor helped remove those vehicles both Friday and Saturday, along with Doosan of the Peace and TNT 4X4 club.

“Every time we go out there we see the burnt cars at the cut lines and stuff,” says Brandt employee Kevin Lavallee. “It just kind of blows me away that people take the effort to drive these things all the way out there and do what they do when they could phone. I know there’s organizations in town that will pay them to take the cars away, but they’d rather drive them out there and burn them.”

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Lavallee adds that he brought his children out, and they couldn’t understand why people would dump garbage in a recreation area. However, Alberta Environment says they had less garbage to get rid of this year, as people are now doing clean ups year round, and shaming offenders on social media.

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