Effort to Clean Illegal Dumping Sites

By: Daniel Armbruster Email
By: Daniel Armbruster Email

Beginning in December, Grimes County Road and Bridge Department along with the Sheriff's Office began cleaning up illegal dump sites. The sites were filled with tires, household trash and other debris. There is still progress to be made, but engineer Bob Cochrane says they have come far and they're not done yet.

"We've got to plan it, coordinate it, get the Sheriff's Department and their diversion crew, wait for the weather and the environmental crew to get a dumpster."

It's a very tedious process and it's not cheap. It's estimated one cleanup will cost tax payers in Grimes County $5,000.

Also, Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk had inmates clean up trash along Democrat Road after KBTX cameras showed piles of household trash dumped along the road. The gravel road is a hotspot for illegal dumping.

Kirk urges anyone who sees illegal dumping to contact their local sheriff's office.


Below is a previous story from November 16, 2011:

Country roads around the Navasota River look more like landfills. The waterways and roadsides around the river are sites for illegal dumpers. Gary Evans says he is frustrated by the lack of disrespect for mother nature.

“I've found several needles…It just ‘T’s me off," said Evans.

Evans takes trash bags and walks Democrat Road picking up trash which he then takes to local garbage collection sites and pays to have it disposed of properly. The disabled Grimes County resident says he wishes he could pick up more but he can only do so much.

“It costs a dollar a bag. That's not much money, but it's a lot of money for me,” said Evans.

The river is on the outskirts of both Brazos and Grimes County making it harder to catch those responsible for the dumpings, but law enforcement officials with both counties say they're going to step up.

Waterways around the river are the worst in the Democrat Road area as they are littered with dozens of old tires. The water is technically a part of Grimes County. On the Brazos County side of the river, there is mainly household trash and construction material. Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk says even though Brazos County's side isn't affected as badly, he wants the problem fixed.

“It's unsightly for one thing, it's unhealthy for another and it's illegal," said Kirk.

One possible solution that both county governments will look at is having jail inmates who are on good behavior go to the site to pick up the trash within each county's jurisdiction.

"In the past the sheriff has allowed inmates to assist the Grimes County Road and Bridge Department with the cleanup. Basically use road and bridge's equipment and Grimes County inmates as the labor force,” said Lt. Ryan Rutledge, Grimes County Sheriff's Office.

Kirk says even if the mess is cleaned up, violators will most likely strike again.

"There are sites like this one that is that's it just isn't possible to keep it clean because people will come up and abuse it,” said Kirk.

Because of the environmental impact by illegal dumping, the crime carries serious punishment. Depending on the weight of trash that is illegally disposed. Violators can face up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you see illegal dumping you're asked to call your local sheriff's office immediately. In the meantime, Evans says he'll fill the back of his truck up as much as he can while he's still able to.

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