From Toilets To Tires, Officials Target Illegal Dumping
MONTEREY, Tenn. - Putnam County leaders have started investigating areas where people have been tossing their trash. Some residents said the problem was no longer just an eyesore, but also a health hazard.
Roger Nichols said the problem was more than just what meets the eye. "I was raised about three miles from here and I didn't get far from my house," said Nichols, who has lived in Monterey most of his life. "We give back to the community and we've got good people."
A once wooded landscape along Parker Road in Monterey has become one of several dumping sites.
"This to me is appalling and what it represents is people coming from other areas and have decided they are going to use this area as a dump," said County Commissioner Ron Williamson.
Among the trash, we found toilets, a couch, and dozens of tires.
"Tires are dangerous because tires collect water... and it's a mosquito breeding grounds," said Putnam County Clean Commission Board Member Shannon Reese.
Reese also feared the trash could contaminate the creek. County leaders said the first step to fighting the problem was raising awareness.
"This is clearly illegal activity that has no regard for the homeowners or anybody in Putnam County or the environment," said Williamson.
The next step is stop the offenders.
"It's a matter of finding the person and prosecuting them," said Reese.
Reese told NewsChannel 5 that the state's water pollution control agents will be investigating and testing the water sometime this week. County leaders were also coordinating a volunteer effort to get some of the sites cleaned up.