Illegal Dumping Trashing Jackson County

December 30, 2006--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CST

JACKSON COUNTY, AR--Arkansas is called the Natural State because all of its natural beauty. However, Jackson County is running their own campaign to keep Arkansas beautiful.

It's enough to furnish a home. Sofas, chairs, TV's, DVD players and stereos, all on the side of road.

"It's horrible you see trash everywhere just about any gravel road you go down you see trash," said Jackson County resident Thomas Parnell.

Parnell lives at the end of Jackson County Road 60, just 200 yards from a site that has become popular for illegal dumping.

"I don't see how you could be lazy enough, i don't know why you would want to throw trash in the middle of the road. Just doesn't make sense to me," said Parnell.

Some rural parts of the county don't have trash pick up and over the past six to eight months, county officials believe some of these residents are using sites like the one on County Road 12 to dispose of their trash.

"Right now I am working on seven to eight, but I know there are more that we haven't found yet," said Don Ivie of the Jackson County Office of Emergency Management.

Not only does it promote the spread of disease, these sites are becoming eyesores for the county and a nuisance to residents who live near them that make the effort clean up their own trash.

"We pay to get our trash picked up. There's a guy down the road that picks it up once a week," said Parnell.

To combat the problem, the county actually has to wade through all the garbage until they find forms of identification like an insurance policy. They take the name off the insurance policy track the person down and get them to clean up that stuff. If they refuse the penalty can be very steep.

"If they are convicted they are facing a fine of up to $1000 dollars and up to a year in county jail," said Ivie.

Parnell understands that these dump sites are a convenient way to get rid of trash, but ultimately he feels residents need to take pride in the appearence of their county.

"I think anyone could throw there trash on the side of the road, but if you want to keep your place clean, I don't know why you would want to do that," said Parnell.