Trashing Region 8: Spring cleaning leads to increase in cases

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

TYRONZA, AR (KAIT) – Officials in Poinsett County told Region 8 News Thursday they expect illegal dumping activity to pick up this spring. According to Sheriff Larry Mills, illegal dumping increases when warmer temperatures begin to creep in. Tyronza Police Chief Tony Turner said his department has seen an increase in illegal dumping at one of two illegal dumpsites outside city limits.

"Debris and everything that builds up in people's yards in the area and the unwanted appliances that come from households, for whatever reason seem to find a way to these illegal dumpsites," said Turner.

Turner said he has been able to find personal information at an illegal dumpsite south of town. He said that information could be used to make an arrest.

"For several years, a lot of these areas weren't patrolled to the extent they are now," said Turner. "It became common for them just, whatever they didn't want, they'd just come outside of the town to one of these illegal dumpsites and dispose of it and they thought they'd be done with it."

Turner said he has talked with representatives with the railroad company, which has found hundreds of illegal dumpsites along the line.

"Along the railroad tracks, for miles and miles they see illegal dumpsites," said Turner. "They begin cleaning their sheds, cleaning their yard, cleaning their carport, and a lot of the items they've collected over the last several months, unfortunately is considered trash to them."

"The people that brought all their trash out here and dumped at these sites, are now getting the luxury of this water building up in their yards," said Turner.

Judy Smullin has lived in Tyronza all her life. She said she's seen an increase in illegal dumping over the last ten years.

"The trash and people dumping off their stuff when they do spring cleaning. Anything from furniture to carpet, mattresses, everything, and it gets to be a real hassle," said Smullin. "They'd have carpet and they'd go past where I live and then dump it and you could see it later when you went down to tell that they had discarded what they had in their vehicle."

Smullin said she tries to keep her yard clean, but neighbors don't care as much about their lawn's appearance.

"You have to get out with a trash bag and bend your back and pick it up. We have some areas down there where there is a lot of trash just from the neighbors and we all try to keep it picked up and cleaned up," said Smullin. "I like a clean yard. I've always said if you see a person's yard and it's a mess, I wonder what the house looks like."

"If you got to dump it, dump it in the place it belongs legally. You wouldn't want me to drop a refrigerator in your front yard so don't drop it in my back yard," said Smullin.

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