Crushed beer cans, vintage glass pop bottles, the frame of an old bike, a broken watch. These are items found inside Squamish lakes - areas some people use as unofficial landfills.
For the third year, volunteer divers with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans ducked under the surface of local watering holes to haul out trash.
The divers typically cover Alice, Cat, Browning (Murrin Park) and Brohm lakes.
Recently the crew of six divers cleaned up two areas of Brohm Lake, pulling out about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of trash.
And much more trash remains, according to Henry Wang, one of the divers.
“There’s several drinking and partying areas,” Wang explained.
In Brohm Lake, the divers found three GoPro cameras. Two have been returned to their owners and the last camera’s owners have been identified, but have not yet been in contact with Wang. Divers also found a Timex watch, still ticking, Wang said with a laugh. Those types of items have obviously been unintentionally lost while their owners were recreating on the lake, he said.
They also find trash that could be considered historic treasures.
“The area that we are getting to in Brohm no one has ever cleaned before,” Wang said, adding it took the divers 30 minutes to get to the cliff-diving area they cleaned. “The garbage there is quite historic: We are talking the beer bottles are stubbies and really, really old bottles like Coca Cola bottles from 40 years ago.”
Mostly, though, they find cans and bottles, the majority of which have likely been purposefully discarded into the water.
“We would just like to see people be more careful and pack out everything that they pack in,” he said.
For more on the divers’ organization go to, cleanerlakes.com.