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Abbotsford family biz offers to clean up manure dumped on homeless camp

After the City of Abbotsford admitted dumping chicken manure on an unofficial campground for people experiencing homelessness, a family-owned business has offered to clean up the area.

Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers, an Abbotsford-based company, proposed to donate a truckload of fresh bark mulch or wood chips to lessen the effects of the manure dumping in the area known as "the happy tree."

"The mulch that Valley Pulp will be providing will help mitigate the residual odor left by the chicken manure, and provide clean, dry ground cover for people who live in the park," said the company in a press release.

Company manager Travis Klassen told the Tyee he and his family were outraged by the news, but quickly realized "we could do something about it."

The company employs over 50 people and transports wood residuals for use in agriculture, landscaping and the pulp and paper industry.

The City of Abbotsford has yet to decide when the company can start the clean up.

City officials "have been very open to the idea," said Klassen, but told him the offer must first be discussed with people living in the park.

"We all make mistakes," he said, of the dumping. "We are ready when they are."

Sebastian Salamanca is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

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