Stiff penalties for illegal trash dumping - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Stiff penalties for illegal trash dumping

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

City officials said they are in the process of cracking down on perpetrators to put an end to illegal trash dumping. The city receives daily complaints of the trash problem and is channeling resources into cleaning up illegal dump sites.

According to Code Enforcement Director Stuart Walker, offenders can be fined up to $100,000 or serve up to 5 years of jail time especially when dumping near or in water. "There are stiffer penalties if you are caught dumping items in a waterway and we do have the Canyon Lake system's waterway through the Texas Water Code."

According to the Texas Water Code, section 7.176 prohibits used oil to be dumped near water, Section 7.145 prohibits pollutant discharge and Section 7.185 prohibits the dumping of batteries in a waterway.

When we asked Walker why people choose to dump garbage illegally, he explained, 

"Two reasons I've identified is ignorance they don't know where to take it or they don't know how to get rid of certain items or laziness they've got it in the back of the truck and they just want to get rid of it quick."

According to City Foreman Recycle Division Manager Tyron Rainwater, one deterrent to the problem are the monetary benefits of recycling.

"It may cost $26 a load at the City Dump, but if you take the time to recycle your scraps, you can get back some of what you paid for," says Rainwater.

Recycling metal materials can put money in your pocket says Jarvis Metal President David Bayouth. The company pays according to weight and the type of material.

"Copper and silver have different values," said Bayouth. "Copper can be worth as much as $3 a pound and aluminum is worth 40 cents a pound."

Something you may not think to take to a recycling facility, is your car.

"Some of these cars will bring $500 just for scrap," said Bayouth. "We buy it by the weight so sometimes we can get more by selling it for scrap than, you know, trying to do something else with it especially if the transmission is out and it's not worth fixing."

Jarvis Metal employees are also required to take a hard look at what people are selling to ensure they abide by the law.

"We follow all the state local and federal laws we take everybody's ID we get their license plate number make and mold of their vehicle and we have pictures of what they sell. These are all required by law so anything that's not legitimate eventually it'll get found out."

If you would like to report illegal dumping, report it to the City of Lubbock's Code Enforcement Department by calling 311.

If you'd like more information about recycling metals and other goods, you can log on to http://www.jarvismetal.com

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