Cleaning up Southern Illinois

Cleaning Up Southern Illinois
By: Arnold Wyrick

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS --Take a drive down just about any rural road in Southern Illinois, and chances are you'll find some trash throw ed out alongside of it.  And it's not just old cans and bottles these days.  People are throwing out anything, and everything, wherever they can.
"Well there's a lot of household items. Beds, refrigerators, and stoves everything that shouldn't be here actually.  People just drive down the road and find a spot in the middle of the country, and start dumping garbage illegally," says Morris Mott of Mott Excavating.
Mott and his workers have been contracted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to clean up some of the illegal dumpsites in Johnson, Pulaski, and Alexander Counties.
It's all part of a $3,000,000 project called the I-RID initiative passed by the state legislature in 2005.  And we the taxpayers are getting to pick up the tab for the clean up.
"Well a lot of the stuff is really bad for the environment, they're dumping oil, household cleaners, and commercial cleaners," Mott said.
And along Old Cypress road Mott says they've removed tractor trailer loads of tires.
"We've hauled off at least four truck loads full.  I guess for some people it's too much money to try and find a better place to get rid of them.  So a country road is the best spot for them, I guess.  A lot of things need to be stopped, and this is one of them," Mott said.
Once the illegal dumpsites are cleaned up, hidden security cameras are being placed in the area to catch anyone else who may decide to start trashing up the countryside again.  And if you get caught on tape doing just that, it can cost you a minimum of a $500 fine, up to a $1,000 fine.