Cleaning up illegal dump-sites

Cleaning up illegal dump-sites
By: Arnold Wyrick
To look out across the rolling hills of Johnson County it's hard to imagine how anyone could just throw their trash out wherever they wanted to.  But, that's exactly what folks living near Buncombe, Illinois have been doing for years. "This is probably one of the worst open dumps we've got down here.  This has been an open dump for years," says Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Regional Manager Gary Steele.
One look down upon the 40-foot pile of garbage and debris lining a deep ravine on Michaels Road, and it's clear this one pristine area, has been turned into a make-shift landfill. "Estimating from some of the bottles we've found out here, they're probably 40-50 years old.  They've been dumping out here for decades and decades, through generations of families," says Matt Endrizzi with Mott Excavating.
But, the illegal dumping is coming to a halt as of now.  And IEPA is spearheading the clean up of the area.  The people of Johnson County will get to pay the $50,000 bill. "It's out here exposed to the elements and the rain.  It's deteriorating and breaking down into the soil.  That makes it available to get into a surface water, or can soak down into the ground water," Steele said.
So the road leading by the illegal dump is now going to be permanently closed once the clean up is completed.  And if folks are thinking about sneaking around the locked gates, they might want to think again.  That's because cameras have been hidden in the area, you can be ticketed and you could go to jail for dumping your trash again on Michaels Road.