LETTER: Human waste on our trails must be covered correctly

I have a few concerns regarding the article dated July 28 discussing dogs ingesting drugs, via human waste, on North Shore trails.

My main concern is that this article continues to spread misinformation about dealing with the problem. An interviewed civilian was quoted as saying “kick some dirt over it or drop a rock over it” in response to the presence of human waste in our forests. This is not an environmentally friendly solution and should not be broadcast to the general public as an appropriate way to deal with human waste.

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Human waste in nature is something that backcountry enthusiasts have been dealing with for a very long time and there are some simple ways to deal with it appropriately. Simply kicking dirt or putting a rock over it is not sufficient. These methods can still result in dogs eating it, humans stepping in it, rainwater washing it into our rivers and creeks, not to mention the offensive smell, which is readily detected by passing hikers.

I understand that sometimes nature calls and that you’ve got to go when you’ve got to go, but it is essential that you dig a deep hole and bury your waste to a point where no human or animal can easily come into contact with it. Ideally, people should be going as far off the trail as possible when doing this.

And lastly, this is not a COVID issue and it’s unfortunate that it has been reduced to just that. It has been going on for years and is continuously getting worse as more people enjoy spending time outdoors. It’s a serious problem all over the North Shore trails and in the provincial parks.

Steph White
North Vancouver

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