Trash Enforcers Cracking Down In Hancock County

Hancock County is cracking down on people who are turning roadside areas into do it yourself dumpsites. County leaders say its a problem that is out of control.

At first glance you might think they are legal dumpsite, after all they usually have all the makings of dump sites with old refrigerators, furniture, washers and even broken TV's.

"I think it's a black eye to all of us," County Administrator Tim Kellar said.

Solid Waste Enforcement Officer Bill Johnson echoed his words.

"It's very unsightly, going beyond that from a health and environmental stand point it's very bad for the County as a whole. Televisions and monitors things like that have led in them."

"There is lots of building rubbish whether it has asbestos in it we don't know there are chemicals being dumped some of them are close to the streams." Kellar said.

WLOX News found some of those items in one local creek. A microwave oven old barrels and even a bike.

"The fact that folk have a project going on or they have an appliance that's gone out take it somewhere dump it get out of the way . Out of sight out of mind," Keller said.

A grant from the DEQ has allowed the county to hire a solid waste enforcement officer, to track down those who trash the area.

"I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 of those. We've been able to tie back to folks we've had 15 or so," enforcement officer Johnson said.

Johnson says unscrupulous contractors, many from out of state, avoid fees by dumping illegally leaving taxpayers to pay for the clean up. County leaders received a grant from the DEQ to clean-up a number of illegal dump sites two years ago.

They say just a few months after that more started to surface.

If you see someone illegally dumping, you're asked to take down a license plate number and report it to the Hancock County Sheriff's Department at 467-5101.