>> BY PETER WORDEN
Charise Folnovic has been collecting trash by the riverside. She first noticed broken glass in the rocks while walking her dog. Not wanting Maddie to cut her feet (as she had), Charise started picking it up. Then, she noticed the plastic. Bags. Straws. Tarps. Basins. Pellets. Then, rusted car parts, tin cans, paint and oil cans. She started bringing trash bags on her walks to pick up anything she could carry, including, a bike. To date, she has collected over five litres of glass pieces and shards. Bike parts, toys, scrap metal—you name it—it’s endless. She took this photo (above) last Earth Day.
INDUSTRIAL WASTE: A LOVE STORY
Ever go for a riverwalk and notice all the railway, highway or hydro-electric remnants tucked amid the rocky shore? Like, Charise, who may or may not have left this heart shape of broken glass, I too, began picking up (or at least photographing) river junk.
Trash sometimes borders on beautiful such as this rusted spoon …
… and bike frame.
Other items aren’t so easily plucked from the sands of time. Tires and rims are embedded in the shore.
As are industrial components to old cable ferries and bridges, long since flooded by the Arrow Lakes Reservoir.
Some garbage is rail waste pitched over the hillside—out of sight out of mind.
Some of the largest industrial waste—if you’ve ever wondered—are vestiges of the city’s old dam on the Illecillewaet River: a surge tower …
… and heavy steel flood gate. The dam was removed by BCHydro as part of the Revelstoke Dam project.
A lot of river junk is just too big or annoying to remove. Shopping carts may some day find a new home with an enterprising individual who can transform it into a flower bed …
… or maybe turning an old tank into a barrel smoker(—ideas!).
Some garbage is fated to remain forever in plain sight—a reminder of a simpler time when cars were driven to the river’s edge and dumped.
Dumping old cars was allowed on the north shore of Centennial Park (near the boat launch) between the 40s and 60s. Sam Olynyk was the Public Works Superintendent from 1979 to 1993, and explained that BC Hydro Hydro was responsible for shoring up the river edge with riprap before the Arrow Lakes Reservoir came into being in 1967—car parts and all.