Boaters seem to be anxious about trash, getting it off their boat that is – we don’t seem to mind paying $7 per pound for wine, $2 per pound for toilet paper, and we are ready to pay $1 per pound for gas. So why do we sometimes feel hesitant when asked to pay by the pound to get rid of our garbage? We pay for garbage service at home, so why resist paying for the same service at small, remote communities that we visit?

Getting rid of trash in remote locations can’t be cheap. Garbage collection services at marinas and communities like Lund, Refuge Cove, and Gorge Harbour must pay someone to collect mounds of garbage, transport that garbage by truck, and then load it on a ship to be taken elsewhere, it’s an expensive proposition that returns little to no profit for their service. Trash is collected not only for island residents, but for those of us who come to enjoy the beautiful beaches, trails, anchorages, and marinas of Desolation Sound. It’s no wonder that someone waiting around for our stinky garbage gets a little testy when customers fail to be less than appreciative of their services.

Photo of garbage shack and bin at Lund

No, we don’t want to carry trash around on our boat for weeks, so supporting garbage services when we find them is vitally important. Here are a few services at some key locations in Desolation Sound:

  1. Lund – Boaters can dispose of their trash and recycle for a fee at A & J’s Garbage Shack garbage bin (604-414-6097) near the new grocery store at Lund, located behind the Lund Hotel. Cost is $1 per pound for recycling and $2 per pound for garbage. Summer Hours are 9 am to 3:30 pm daily. If the attendant is not present, use the scales located in front of the shack for weighing your trash and deposit the fee in the self-payment box. The service is monitored by cameras, with signage that says “smile for the many cameras that watch over Lund.” Garbage at A & J’s is collected and driven 35 miles to the Powell River Transfer Station. A & J’s costs for transporting and disposing of trash is a service, not a profitable business.
  2. Refuge Cove – Boaters will find a Garbage Barge anchored at the mouth of Refuge Cove near Centre Island providing garbage collection service beginning each season around mid-June. Enterprising Dave Cartwright will accept your bagged garbage for $1 per pound (cash only); pull up by dinghy and he will weigh your bags. Plastic recyclables accepted. He appreciates friendly conversation and your thoughtful tips; after all, he is sitting there among mountains of bags all day to accept your unwanted trash. Check out his website at
  3. Gorge Harbour – Boaters and island residents can take their garbage and recycle to the head of the Government Public Dock (look for the red railed pier in Gorge Harbour located east of Gorge Harbour Marina), where Reusary will be waiting with her truck on Mondays from 10 am to Noon and on Fridays from 2 pm to 4pm to collect your garbage – the fee is $1 per pound for garbage and .50 per pound for recycle. She transfers the garbage to the appropriate dump site and processing station.

Yes, talking trash is an important aspect of boating and a necessary service among other services for which we are happy to make payment; we want these services to be there in the future.

Boaters should keep in mind that small communities simply do not have municipal garbage collection and transfer station facilities. Starting at Pender Harbour going northward, you will be paying to get rid of your garbage with the exception of major towns like Campbell River, Powell River, Port McNeill, and Port Hardy. Boaters staying at one of the three government docks in Pender Harbour can take their trash to the Office in Maderia Park for a disposal fee of $2 per small bag and $5 for a large bag. Some marinas in Pender Harbour include garbage disposal in their moorage fees.