Posted on Jan 26, 2019
The Rotary Club of Parksville AM has decided it is time to take out the trash on Little Mountain. Over the years, the base of this beautiful pristine area of Parksville has become a dumping ground, either because the dumpers didn’t want to pay for proper disposal of their garbage or because they thought it would be exciting to throw something large over a 100 foot cliff.
Funding to help offset some of the costs of this clean-up comes from an unusual source. Back in 2010, Oscar-winner Adrien Brody starred in a movie about a man who awakens in a wrecked car in the forest at the bottom of a steep ravine with no memory of who he is or how he got there.  The movie was “Wrecked” and the filming location was the base of Little Mountain.

However, all was not untouched on this apparently ideal film location, as the crew discovered a mountain of trash that had been tossed from the top and had been accumulating for years, resulting in a vast disgusting mess covering the entire base of Little Mountain.  The film crew shot around the trash, but before leaving, they donated their coffee fund money, in the amount of $750, to help with future clean-up.
Photo below shows Little Mountain resident, Jeff Grognet presenting a cheque in the amount of $750 to Parksville AM Rotary President, Bill Rawlins and Treasurer, Steve Alexander-Pope.
This is not the first time that local residents have attempted to address the situation, and while a clean-up was carried out in 2009, the dumping has not stopped.  What should be a beautiful hike through a pristine forest has turned into a nasty trek past a vast eyesore of household appliances, couches, rusted bicycles, car parts, shopping carts, junked electronics and mouldy mattresses.  Oh and don’t forget the golf balls – there are hundreds of them!

This will not be an easy task.  There is only a narrow path to the bottom of the cliff, making it impossible to bring in vehicles to carry out the garbage which is scattered over a challenging sloped area.  Garbage must therefore be loaded into nets, picked up by a helicopter, and transported to a sorting area where it will be loaded into trucks for disposal at the Transfer Station.

This will be a huge clean-up effort that will involve many volunteers, including Rotarians and their supporters, along with Little Mountain residents and friends of the environment.  Kestrel Helicopters donated their services to the clean-up in 2009 and will do so again, and the funds collected by the “Wrecked” film crew will be used to offset fuel costs and other supplies. 

The clean-up is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2019, and while this will be a start, it will not begin to return the area to its previous state.  This is just the beginning of a project that will span several years.  And unless dumping stops, this will be an ongoing problem that will never be truly solved.
Physical barriers, electronic monitoring and a social media campaign to change the mindset of potential dumpers will all be considered in addressing this challenge.