By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
After a long and brutally-wet winter, many residents in Liberty County are embracing the warm and sunny weather by doing a little spring cleaning. With some residents also getting tax refunds and making big-ticket purchases for furniture and televisions, old items are being discarded.
County officials say it is important that discarded items end up in the appropriate place – garbage collection sites – and not dumped alongside county roads. Illegal dumping is a Class C misdemeanor punishable with a fine of up to $500; however, violators may also have to pay restitution if ordered by a judge.
“Illegal dumping is extremely expensive for the county because county workers end up having to pick up the trash outside of the cities,” said Liberty County Judge Jay Knight. “It takes them off their true job of improving roads and bridges. Not only it is dangerous work for them, it’s unhealthy.”
Knight says he gets complaints regularly by phone and email from citizens regarding illegal dumping.
“People often will go out and dump all the excess of an estate – mattresses, furniture and things that would block a drainage ditch. That’s really expensive for us to clean up,” the judge said.
Pct. 6 Constable John Joslin has been cracking down on illegal dumping in the Cleveland area.
“We busted someone the other day and they were fined, but people keep dumping their garbage,” Joslin said.
According to Pct. 4 Commissioner Leon Wilson, his employees found evidence on an illegal dumper in the Eastgate area and that information is being used to build a criminal case.
“My employees went through the trash and found a medicine bottle with a person’s name on it. We have turned that over to [Pct. 4 Constable] Robby [Thornton] for prosecution,” Wilson said.
There are a number of collection sites throughout the county where residents can dispose of items legally for a nominal fee. Pct. 2 has four sites – in Hull, Tarkington, Hardin and Rye; Pct. 1 has one in Raywood; and Pct. 4 and the City of Dayton partner on a collection site in Dayton. All of the locations are open to county residents, though the hours and days of operation and rules vary. The City of Dayton also has a slightly different fee schedule than the county collection centers.
The county’s collection centers are open Wednesday through Saturday. The hours of operation for the centers in Pct. 2 are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. while the hours at the Pct. 1 center are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The locations are as follows:
- Hull – 7981 FM 834 West, Hull – 936-536-3522
- Rye – 27869 SH 146 North, Rye – 281-593-0206
- Tarkington – 377 CR 2206, Cleveland – 281-593-2994
- Hardin – Pct. 2 county barn at 588 CR 2010 (restricted to senior citizens who have registered for free garbage disposal; see the Pct. 2 office in Hardin for details)
- Raywood – three miles south of SH 90 on FM 770 South – 936-587-4417
“We will take old paint, tires and mattresses. We have containers for old motor oil and bins for scrap metal. The county loses a lot of money on the dumps every year, but the citizens seem to appreciate the service,” said Pct. 2 Commissioner Greg Arthur. “We’ve looked at being open only part-time but I am afraid that if we did that, we would have more illegal dumping. Whatever we would save with a shorter schedule would be spent on cleanups. Right now it’s working pretty well the way things are.”
The City of Dayton collection center is open Monday, Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located on FM 1413 south of US 90. The fees at the Dayton collection center are $5 per standard truck load, $10 per full loaded truck and $15 with a trailer.
The county’s fee schedules are shown below: