Dubuque County to crack down on illegal dumping - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque County to crack down on illegal dumping

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -- Dubuque County officials are looking to crack down on illegal dumping, starting March 1.

One official is Chuck Goddard, the administrator of the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency.

"It's been a constant battle, out into the community, out in the county, for both things - littering and illegal dumping," Goddard said.

The Board of Supervisors just has to give the final okay, and Dubuque County will officially have an illegal dumping enforcement officer to discourage those who dodge fees at the landfill and dump elsewhere.

As the Mines of Spain park ranger, Wayne Buchholz sees plenty of illegal dumping in the area.

"Looks like the outer container of a crock pot," he said, pointing to a picnic area beneath a group of trees. "What that's doing out here, I have no idea."

He said he sees illegal dumping all year long.  "Probably spring and fall are probably the worst, you know. Spring, when people are cleaning up their yards and doing things like that."

Even in the winter, however, Buchholz finds items. Monday, he pulled some tree branch trimmings from a snowbank.

"Daily we're picking up cans," he said.

Goddard said crews have found all sorts of things at illegal dump sites, including a meth lab.

"That is dangerous for people, especially when it's people just cleaning up the roadsides," Goddard said. "You're volunteers."

He said an illegal dumping enforcement officer and the threat of a $1,000 find will cut back on the mess.

"Hopefully, we're going to start catching these dumpers and taking them to court," Goddard said.

The trash is affecting taxpayers, too.

Goddard says just in 2010 more than $115,000 has been spent picking up illegal dumping, and illegal littering in Dubuque County.

If you see somebody ditching their trash, try and get a license number.
Then authorities can go interview that person.

The Dubuque Metropolitan Landfill charges $8 for a trash drop-off weighing 460 pounds or less. To drop of an entire one ton of garbage, the landfill charges only $35, compared to the $1,000 fine someone would risk after March 1 if caught dumping that trash elsewhere.

Currently, the Dubuque County illegal dumping fine is $70. The new $1,000 fine will include a court appearance.

Online Reporter: Becca Habegger

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