Commissioner expresses concern about illegal dumping

Commissioner Brendan Kearns told us the cost to pick up a load of illegally dumped materials costs about $1,000.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 5:39 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 2:54 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - One Vigo County Commissioner says illegal dumping is getting out of hand and the problem can be costly.

Commissioner Brendan Kearns told News 10 his office has received several calls about people dumping old mattresses around the county. That's a problem because it costs money to dispose of the mattresses.

Kearns said when they figure in all of the resources, it takes about $1,000 for the county to dispose of one load of illegally dumped materials.

"We did kind of an informal study on what our cost is per pickup. It's about $1,000 to do that. So if we had to go out one day and pick up eight mattresses at eight different locations, that costs the county taxpayers around $8,000," Kearns told us.

In a later post on social media, Kearns clarified the cost. “When we implemented the trail camera program, we came up with a figure as to how much it costs for us to pick up a truckload of trash. I looked at the labor, vehicle, fuel and disposal costs. I also looked at the impact when we have to pull our highway crew off jobs to do the cleanup. A conservative figure of taxpayer impact is $1,000 a load," the post said.

Kearns said the price to dump in the landfill has gone up significantly. He says many people cannot afford to pay the disposal fee, so he expects the illegal dumping issue to continue.

NOTE: This story was updated on 9/11 to reflect how the illegal dumping concern was discussed. A previous version said County Commissioners brought this topic up during a regular public meeting. However, Commissioner Brendan Kearns mentioned it in an on-camera interview after the meeting.

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