Wednesday, April 3rd 2019, 6:04 PM CDT
It is estimated that nearly 60 tons of trash was cleaned up along the side of a road in Pottawatomie County Wednesday.
The dumpsite on River Road, three miles east of Shawnee, is one of many sites the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office has been cracking down on.
It’s all part of the “Keep Pottawatomie County Clean” initiative, funded by a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality.
“Shawnee Dumpsters” was contracted to help clean up what illegal dumpers left behind.
“There is couches, beds, clothes, baby toys, and anything and everything you can imagine in these holes,” said Ira Romine, owner of Shawnee Dumpsters.
It takes heavy machinery and days to clean up the mess. To call it a challenge is an understatement.
“Some of these holes can go 15 to 20 feet deep,” said Romine. “They’ve been doing it for so long and it just keeps getting piled up, most some of them are endless it seems like.”
Watching it all unfold from afar, is Pottawatomie County Environmental Crime Investigator Deputy Shaun Copelin.
Since July, Copelin has been taking it one small victory at a time.
“The residents have pulled up and said that this has been a problem for decades,” said Copelin. “I’ve discovered that many of the largest sites in the county have been being dumped in for decades and that is what we are fighting against.”
Caught illegally dumping could cost you at least $5,000 in fines and 60 days in jail.
It’s not a clean job, but it sure is a rewarding one.
“It attracts insects, vermin, snakes, every kind of rodent you can imagine is in there,” said Copelin.
If you cannot afford to properly dispose of trash, Deputy Copeland encourages you to give the Trash Dump Hotline a call at 405-309-7797 to work something out.
Click here to find “Keep Pottawatomie County Clean” and stay up to date with the group’s efforts.