Cracking down on illegal dumping

Cracking down on illegal dumping
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 7:29 PM EST
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MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Olive Maynard’s a fan of the water, casting his fishing line a couple of times a week.

In some parts of Martin County, the river flows crystal clear.

Nestled on the river banks sits discarded furniture, car parts, and trash.

It’s not the same warm welcome that spring flowers blooming along the riverbank bring.

“I don’t understand. They spend more gas out running around trying to illegally dump it than they would pay in a garbage bill,” Maynard saids. “Take pride in where you live and in your community.”

The Martin County Sheriff’s Department is working to crack down on illegal dumps around the county.

Looking at a dump along with a hillside, Sheriff John Kirk said, “This is what you would expect Haiti to look like where they don’t have the resources to dispose of their garbage or the incomes that we have here. They don’t have the means we have of doing it here.”

Kirk said cracking down on illegal dumps begins with education.

If an illegal dump is found, deputies will look for identification of the person who dumped it. Once identified, a warning will be issued to the person the trash belongs to or the property owner. Deputies said they’ll give one to two weeks before a citation is issued if the trash is not picked up.

Kirk visited several illegal dumps when out on the road with WSAZ.

Hoping to restore the county to its beauty for generations to come, Kirk says littering will not be tolerated.

“I want a better place for my children and grandchildren. I want my children to wade these creeks and go fishing and not have to worry about stepping on glass or used needles or used syringes,” Kirk said.

In Kentucky, Kirk said illegal dumping is a misdemeanor.

To report an illegal dumping site or someone involved, you’re asked to contact the Martin County Sheriff’s Department.

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