Illegal dumping creating problems throughout Dubuque County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Illegal dumping creating problems throughout Dubuque County

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Dubuque County says illegal dumping is creating problems across the county.

Mary Wolter is dealing with a mess on her newly acquired land near Balltown.

Bottles, old appliances, tires and more are everywhere on her land--the results of decades of illegal dumping.

"It's definitely a pain in the neck. It's discouraging, but we see it as an opportunity to clean it up and restore the land to what it should be," said Eric Nie, Wolter's land manager.

It's just one site of many across the county. They require big cleanups, and those come at the expense of the taxpayer.

"Since January, Dubuque County alone, just Dubuque County, not the city, the cost of cleaning up illegal dump sites has reached $18,000," said Kurt Kramer, the illegal dumping enforcement officer.

And not only are these sites a pain to clean up, but they also pose a major threat to the environment.

"Landfills designed to contain the contaminants, and keep it on site. When people throw it in a road ditch or someone else's property, all those contaminants go into the soil and eventually our ground water," said Kramer.

The state considers it illegal dumping if the waste weighs more than ten pounds.

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