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Illegal Dumps A Big Problem For Durham

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DURHAM — Some people in Durham are too lazy to make it to the dump, and just drop their trash anywhere they can. Now, the Bull City is taking steps to put the lid on on illegal dumping. A task force has just been started to look at this pretty messy problem, and code enforcement officers have identified more than 80 illegal dump sites.

Couches, refrigerators shingles and stereos -- Jackie Rhodes is fed up with the heap of trash that continues to pile up near her Carr Street home.

"That sign down (the street) says no dumping, (but) they don't pay that any attention," she says.

She says cars come down her road all the time and dump just about anything you can imagine.

"We try to catch them everytime before they dump it," says Rhodes. "I'm never surprised or amazed what I may stumble upon."

The Public Works Department has pinpointed most of these dump sites, and in the last year, they have collected more than 1,200 tons of illegally discarded garbage.

Signs have been posted around the city, but Mitch Archer of the Public Works Department says it is tough trying to track the dumpers down.

"It could be your small contractor or your John Doe cleaning their yards and trying to save a buck or two by not going to the transfer station," he says.

Durham resident Bill Anderson considers himself a trash detective. He has rummaged through rubbish just to find the offender. He says the problem really needs community-wide involvement.

"Instead of peeking out of windows and having it not be obvious, we told (witnesses) to use binoculars and have a pad and pencil next to them," he says.

If you get caught illegally dumping garbage and junk in Durham, you can be fined as much as $500. If you want to report an illegal dump site, you can call 919-560-4925.


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