Illegal dumping can be costly

Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Corporal Jimmy Brooks with the Arkansas Game and Fish warns offenders that illegal dumping will not be tolerated. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Corporal Jimmy Brooks with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said illegal dumping is a major problem in the area.

"We take a zero tolerance attitude on littering," Corporal Brooks said. "We are cracking down on offenders that we catch and citations are given. The fine can go up to $1,000. Judges can fine the offenders and order them to clean up the site."

Brooks has been with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for almost 20 years. He said he has written several littering tickets this month.

State, county, and local law enforcement agencies are working to put a stop to the problem.

"We patrol the back roads and we see a lot of it on the public property," Brooks said. "Dumping in ditches eventually can cause flooding. It costs the taxpayers in equipment and man hours and it is uncalled for."

Items dumped include old appliances, tires, building material, old bicycles, and all household trash such as paper, cans, plastic, etc.

Brooks said Manila has a transfer station that is open at least twice a week, the county has a transfer station to discard unwanted items and there is no reason for people to dump illegally.

"The fee for dumping at a designated site will be much less costly than the fine that is imposed when caught illegally dumping," Brooks said.

Brooks said he has seen sportsmen out cleaning up other people's trash to try to keep the roads open that lead to places to launch their boats. The Arkansas Department of Corrections and Community Service workers help the clean up around Mallard Lake.

"Our judge is against littering and when offenders are caught, they can expect the maximum fine," Brooks said.

Brooks said if anyone observes someone illegally dumping trash or littering, there is a reward system available.

"We can keep the callers name anonymous, and they can receive up to one half of whatever the fine is," Brooks said.

To report illegal dumping or littering, persons can use the stop poaching hotline toll free number, 1-800-482-9262 or contact the local sheriff's department or the local wildlife officer.

Brooks said they will continue to search out offenders and issue citations.

"Hopefully, people will stop trashing our public property and ruining the environment for the general public," Brooks said.

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