District cracks down on illegal dumping

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District is cracking down on its enforcement of those who violate environmental laws.
Last year the district took on approximately 140 cases, with about 55 of those being taken to court, and already in 2017, nearly 40 cases are being handled just from January and February.
“So many people say they don’t hear about our cases, but we are out there enforcing open dumping, open burning, littering and other environmental laws as well as those who litter in our recycling bins,” Dan Palmer, district director, said. “It costs us additional money and man power to go out, pick up and clean up. We’re always actively investigating any complaint that’s called in or emailed in through our website, and they can all remain anonymous.”
The district has 35 recycling bins in both counties, with the main Lawrence County locations being at the Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart in South Point and the FoodFair in Proctorville.
“Recycling bins are zero tolerance. If you litter from a moving vehicle, that’s zero tolerance,” District Enforcement Officer Steve Hileman said. “If you have garbage or other material in the back of a truck, there must be a tarp over it.”
Hileman added that people who are caught dumping or littering are usually given five days to clean up their messes, and if they refuse to, they are then cited in court.
“I love my job and I love for people to call cases in. People sometimes take photos of it, and it all stays anonymous,” Hileman said. “Both counties are really big counties and have been equally as bad as far as people violating the laws go. But the judges and prosecutors support the district fully.”
Palmer and Hileman both said some of the biggest issues with violations include carpet and old televisions being dumped.
Hileman said one case this year involving someone who had been dumping on County Road 270 was taken to court.
“She had outstanding warrants for other things,” Hileman said. “But we took her in for a felony of open dumping.”
Going in, the charge was an unclassified felony, but was bumped down to a third-degree misdemeanor. The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 17 days in jail, with 10 days suspended, giving her a total of one week in jail, a $200 fine, $120 probation supervision fee, one-year probation and $75 court costs.
Other cases that went to court this year include:
• Richard Davis, 61, of 98 Township Road 1216, Proctorville, who was found guilty of putting baby toys into a recycling bin on Jan. 20, 2017. Lawrence County Municipal Court Judge Donald Capper ordered Davis to pay a $100 fine, $110 in criminal case court costs and $145 in restitution to the solid waste district. Davis was not given any jail time or probation.
• Mark Ansell, 60, of 383 Private Drive 3153, Proctorville, who was found guilty of filling two recycling bins with vinyl siding. Judge Capper ordered Davis to pay the maximum fine of $500, $110 in criminal case court costs, and $290 in restitution to the solid waste district, which was doubled for two recycling bins. Ansell was not given jail time or probation.
• Robert C. Kratzenberg, 26, of 208 Westview Street, South Point, and Cory W. Garred, 27, of 107 Delores Ave., South Point, were both found guilty of littering by laying carpeting in the parking lot next to recycling bins. Judge Capper ordered both to pay the maximum $500 fines, $110 in criminal case court costs, and $72.50 in restitution to the solid waste district.
The district recycling bins are clearly marked and accept paper, which includes newspapers and inserts, magazines and catalogs, junk mail and envelopes, phone books, paper grocery bags, cereal and snack boxes, flattened cardboard, and clean pizza boxes (free of food and grease); plastic and jugs, which include containers with a base wider than its small mouth (caps are OK); cartons, which include cartons for juice, soy milk, milk, broth, and cream egg substitutes (caps must be removed); and metals, which include aluminum cans, aerosol cans (with lids and caps removed), metal cans and lids, and tin cans. Do not place recyclables in plastic bags.
Items that are not accepted in the district’s recycling bins include garbage, food, yard waste, plastic bags, electronics, buckets, pots or pans, syringes, light bulbs, drinking glasses, batteries/car parts, ceramics or dishes, scrap metal and video tapes.
“If we catch you, you’ll clean it up,” Hileman said. “And if not, you’ll go to court and the judge will make you clean it up.”

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