Ector County Fights Back Against Illegal Dumping

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY - The complaints rolled in and now a new officer is on board to clean up the county. Illegal dumping has been an ongoing problem, but a surge in phone calls prompted Ector County officials to hire some help.

Ector County's first ever code enforcement officer is ready for duty. We wanted to know how he plans to handle the problem and what neighbors have to say about the mess.

"They throw couches, trash, everything," Mary Lou Young, who lives near a popular dumping site said. "We've even found a horse that had passed and they actually brought it out here and threw it out."

It's an issue Ector County neighbors deal with every day.

"You drive to your home, end up with a flat the next morning, can't go to work or school just because somebody decided not to throw it in the trash," Young said. "They come at all times of the day."

"This is not just a problem that West Odessa is having, you can go anywhere in the county and see the illegal dumping," Oscar Limon, new Ector County Code Enforcement Officer said.

In fact, Ector County officials have had so many complaints lately, they've hired their first-ever code enforcement officer who will focus on cleaning up the county.

"This has been going on for quite some time and I think the commissioners finally had enough complaints coming in that justified this new position," Limon said.

Ector County officials tell us, a pile of trash costs taxpayers about $1,500 to $2,000 to clean up.

"It's a crime in Texas," said Limon. "It's a state law that if you're caught doing any type of illegal dumping, it's a fine or confinement."

Over the next few weeks, the Code Enforcement Officer will develop an education program helping neighbors understand what the limits are. Then he plans to begin a neighborhood watch program getting those neighbors involved in their communities.

"Hopefully they will quit dumping and it will look a lot nicer and people will want to live out here," Young said.