GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office says that it has collected more than 13 tons of illegally dumped trash across the county in an effort to crack down on litter.
According to information provided by Lt. Kevin Werry, 2,420 pounds were collected from Campaign Cemetery; 2,360 pound from Yale School Road; 7,320 pounds from Left Fork Road; 4,060 from Safford School Road; 4,580 pounds from Polecat Road; 1,520 pounds from Quail Hollow Road; and 4,460 pounds from Kemper Hollow Road for a total of 26,720 pounds. That equals roughly 13.3 tons.
Furniture, appliances, household garbage, diapsers, needles, carpet and building supplies were some of the things discovered. The sheriff’s office also collected nearly 200 tires. The tires were taken to the Gallia County Health Department to be recycled. Werry said there were several dump sites still being investigated and in the process of being cleaned.
“Illegal dumping taxes the resources of the county and township officials, affects quality of life and property values in those affected areas,” said Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning. “While we have some funding to help investigate and clean up these issues, we need the public’s continued help to combat illegal open dumping that harms our environment.”
Browning commended the service of the sheriff’s office staff who took part in the cleanup along with Gallia County Work Release Center residents. A majority of the funding provided for the cleanup comes through grants from waste management programs to help offset dump fees, salary and fuel.
Werry said cleanup crews had collected around 60,000 pounds of trash in years past and estimated that with collection rates and discoveries of new dump sites, this year’s collection may break previous records. He emphasized the need of cleanup crews to be careful when sifting through garbage for fear of dirty needles and various other forms of biologically hazardous objects.
Deputies will continue searching out dump sites and offenders in an attempt to keep the county free of debris.
Minor cases of dumping can result in fines of $500 and 60 days in jail. Major incidents of dumping can be potentially classified as felonies and can have fines of up to $10,000 to $25,000. A few years incarceration may also follow.
Werry appreciates any tips from the public on locations of dump sites and anyone that is illegally dumping. Tips can be left at the sheriff’s office tip line (740) 446-6555 or at the Gallia County Work Release Center (740) 367-5033.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.