By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
People who dump trash on county roads and in ditches will start receiving citations from Garfield County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff Jerry Niles said he has begun a special emphasis on areas where dumping occurs. Areas in Garfield County north, south, east and west of Enid are where Niles office has had complaints.
“We’ve had everything from appliances to mattresses and furniture, demolished materials from remodeling ... a little of everything,” Niles said.
He said he receives at least 10-12 complaints a week from residents reporting trash on roadways and on their property. There is no county ordinance against dumping, but a state law calls for fines up to $2,000.
Niles and his deputies have begun using both low-tech and high-tech ways to find those who are dumping on county roads. They are putting up game cameras, the type used to watch wild game activities, and soon will add more of those to their inventory.
Saturday, several reserve deputies used ATVs to monitor roads. They did find some people dumping trash, he said, but also issued citations for traffic offenses and failure to secure a load.
The same problem exists on South 10th, where people are losing loads and dumping their trash on roads leading to the city of Enid landfill.
“We have gone on calls where people literally just dumped their trash in the middle of the road. We had a call on North Garland, it was blocking the roadway,” Niles said. “Someone just dumped it there. We do whatever we can to identify it. The rural residents, anytime they see anyone driving down the road, they get the tag numbers and call in if they see anything suspicious.”
Patrols and special enforcement has begun. If anyone sees any illegal dumping, Niles asks they to call the sheriff’s department at 237-0244 or Garfield County Crime Stoppers at (580) 233-6233. A reward could be offered.
The dumping problem also includes tree branches. If an area gets rain, branches can wash into a waterway and create a blockage, causing flooding.
“Much of the complaints are things deputies see as they patrol the county areas,” Niles said.
If deputies find anything in the debris that can identify who dumped it, the sheriff’s office has been calling those people and giving them a chance to pick up their trash. Now, they will issue a citation.
Items that have been dumped include 50 to 60 tires along a mile stretch of Leona Mitchell Boulevard.
The landfill accepts brush and leaves that are recycled into reusable materials. A wood grinder is used to convert brush into wood chips; those chips are used on the working face of the landfill for trash cover and also are available to the public.
Grass clippings and leaves are used for composting. The composted materials are cleaned by a machine that separates the composted materials from sticks and trash. The composted material is available to the public, free of charge, if loaded by the customer. A customer may have landfill staff load composted material, using a front-end loader, for a fee of $10 per bucket.
The landfill is located at 1313 E. Southgate between 10th and 16th. Winter hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The landfill is closed Sunday.
Enid residents receive 12 free trips per year to the landfill. Residents must present their city trash pass when entering the gate to avoid fees. Loads containing materials that could blow, leak, drop or escape from the vehicle must be secured. A $20 surcharge will be added to the landfill fee if the load is not secured.