Crews remove 61 tons of trash from dumping site in Pottawatomie County

Crews remove 61 tons of trash from dumping site in Pottawatomie County

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A gully off Fishmarket Road in Pottawatomie County has been a dumping ground for decades.

On Thursday, deputies hauled off more than 61 tons of trash that had been dumped into the gully.

“Toilets out. Shower stalls, bath tubs, couches, chairs, box springs. Anything you can imagine, we pulled out of here,” Deputy Shaun Copelin said.

Copelin said this is one of the worst dumping areas in Pottawatomie County.

“It was a mountain of trash,” he said. “It was at least 12 to 15 feet deep.” 

People had been illegally unloading trash, tires and everything else they didn’t want.

“There’s snakes and rats. The smell is horrendous,” Copelin said.

Since July, Copelin has been working double duty as the Sheriff’s Office’s environmental crimes investigator, tracking down offenders. He’s already issued about 40 citations.

“Generally, they say, ‘The people have been doing it forever. I thought it was OK because everyone does it,'” Copelin said.

Through an environmental grant, Copelin enlisted the help of road crews from District 2, which cleared out trash and debris from a number of dumping grounds. They also have set up surveillance cameras in the area to obtain real-time pictures of people being caught in the act.

“If anybody else comes back out here, we’ll find them,” Copelin said.