Illegal dumping in Midland

by Jacqueline Sit
NewsWest 9

This was a big problem, but the city says they put this fence up a few weeks ago to keep the trash from spreading and an environmental officer to man the site to make sure no one dumps stuff here that doesn't belong here, but the problem with illegal dumping still exists.

"It was a really bad problem in the past its not as bad now, it cost us a little bit of time and we take it out," Morris Williams, Superintendent of Solid Waste Management in City of Midland, said.

Morris Williams remembers not too long ago.  This site was supposed to make it easy for residents to bring their yard waste, but it quickly became a place people were using as a landfill.

"We see some illegal stuff, refrigerators, bathtubs, and stuff like that, but that's few and far between now, it's not as much as it used to be," Williams said.

Not as much nowadays with a little security, but that's not enough, owner of a local recyling plant Steve Clabaugh says he hasn't seen any changes.

"We actually ground the facility down to the ground it was completely clean four months ago, and as you can tell it's already completely full, so I don't see any reduction in waste coming in there at all," Steve Clabaugh, owner of Discount Materials, said.

Clabaugh says it's a problem that continues piling up, and more action needs to be taken.

"It has to be a manned facility in order to keep the debris that doesn't belong in there, and to keep the commercial abusers out, someone has to man the facility that require a water bill in order to prove that the waste came from their own personal residence," Clabaugh said.

Williams agrees making it a manned site around the clock could ease the load, but limiting the hours on the site could make it tougher on taxpayers who use it for what it was meant for.

"It's really for the citizens, everybody is not able to get out here of here between 8 and 5, we like to keep it open at night and the weekends, when people do get a chance to do their yard work," Williams said.

"Taxpayers are responsible for that facility, and if we've got commercial dumpers taking advantage of it, that pile will grow 10 times it would if only residential users had access to it," Clabaugh said.

Again this site is for residents to get rid of tree limbs and bushes.  Any violators caught illegally dumping could be fined up to 2500 dollars.  There are alternatives to getting rid of commercial trash like the recycling plant.