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Illegal roadside dumping of trash a criminal offense

Dianne Leveque was out in her yard on County Road 7714 on Sunday when she saw a truck slowing down to dump a refrigerator on the side of the road.

“We heard a horn blow and I noticed that a truck was slowing down,” Leveque said. “I told my husband ‘That guy is fixing to dump something on the side of the road.’ The guy said it fell off his truck, but he was pushing it. Some people just don’t care. They’ll throw trash, tires, big items – they just don’t care.”

Leveque said she didn’t get the license plate, but was able to describe the ruck as a black GMC. But she wasn’t sure which department to report it to.

Sheriff Russell Thomas said anybody who witnesses illegal dumping, or finds large junk items discarded on the roadside or on their private property, can contact the Pike County Sheriff’s Department at 334-566-4347.

“We don’t see as much of that any more thankfully,” Thomas said. “But we still have issues that come up from time to time with dumping on the side of the road, whether it’s a couch or refrigerator on the side of the road or in a creek. If an illegal dump site is reported, we’ll try to determine who deposited the garbage there and proceed from there. When we are able to determine who has committed such an act, we normally have them clean it up.”

Thomas said identifying information such as a license plate or vehicle description can be helpful toward identifying these people to be charged and to clean the mess.

“They don’t usually travel a long way to dump something like that,” Thomas said. “It’s an eye sore and an environmental hazard; if you have an appliance like that, you can actually take it to a scrap yard and even get paid something for it instead of dumping it on the side of the road. We can’t tolerate that type of behavior.”

Russell Johnson, vice chairman of the Pike County Commission, said the Road Department will take care of the cleanup for roadside properties while the sheriff’s office will assist with junk disposed of on personal property.

There is also a way for the road department to help with bad liter areas in the county.

“Anybody can call the Road Department if there’s a hotspot or really bad stretch of litter for our pickup crew to come take care of,” Johnson said. “They work in a clockwise rotation around the county, but we can put in a work order to clean up particularly bad areas.”

Leveque said the litter is a shame in an otherwise nice area.

“The county is doing all the improvements up here and you’ve got the Lockheed Martin traffic,” Leveque said. “They’re trying to make everything look nice up here and we’ve got these people that throw out their trash and junk.”

To contact the Pike County Road Department about a badly littered area, call 334-566-4508.