You could hear the frustration in Dan Palmer, Director of Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste Management Districts voice as he describes the litter of a recently discovered dump.
The Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste Management District and the Scioto County Commissioners have declared war on litter earlier this year. As a result they have put a greater emphasis on litter cleanup and prevention.
The recently discovered litter is on the corner of Hutchins Street in Portsmouth at the intersection of railroad tracks.
The site was discovered when a complaint was made to Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis.
“I received a complaint from some local citizens. They were considering cleaning it (dump site) up themselves but I discouraged that due to safety,” Davis said.
After he received the complaint he contacted Palmer, who after seeing the site agreed the site should not be cleaned up by volunteers, but professionals.
Davis said Palmer committed to working with the city of Portsmouth Health Department and city of Portsmouth officials to get the site cleaned up.
Within the dump site were used tires, oil filters, beer bottles, bags of trash, loose litter, an overgrown tree, a stop sign someone ripped from the ground and a lot of unknowns.
Palmer was amazed a dump site of this magnitude could go unnoticed, only blocks away from a highway.
“We said we’re taking a war on litter and we mean it. Someone needs to be held accountable for this,” Palmer said. “There is no excuse for this, in the city. I know, I’ve said this often, but if you have people coming through your city visiting and they see this (open dumping), what does this say.”
Palmer said it’s important for the community to work together to identify and cleanup sites.
Palmer did caution people to contact the district, before attempting to cleanup a dump site. Once reported the district law enforcement officer would investigate the site to see if any of the dumping could be attributed to anyone.
“We all have to work together, city county and law enforcement to start taking these people (open dumpers) to court,” Palmer said.
When asked if he had a message for those open dumping or littering Palmer said, “We’re watching and hoping we catch people, but we need help from the public as well.”
Palmer said if anyone sees someone open dumping, write down the license plate number of the car and report it to the district for investigation.
Palmer said if someone is caught violating litter and dumping laws they will be taken to court.
“There are a lot of good people in this community who are working hard with us to cleanup and do things. When something like this is seen, everyone gets upset and I’m glad because I’m very upset,” Palmer said.
Palmer said the site in Portsmouth will have to be cleaned up by professionals and not volunteers because of a rick of unknown objects within the site.
“The lot needs totally cleaned and cleared. The litter, tires and furniture is a sad testimony to the area. Unfortunately wind has deposited quite a bit (of liter) there but also a lot has been placed by humans,”
For more information about programs and activities of the Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste Management District call 888-565-7888 or visit www.lsswmd.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT