Illegal dump sites getting cleaned up

Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 18:43:03-05

MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Illegal dump sites are an eyesore and a problem across Kentucky.

Cleaning them can also be costly, but grants worth $955,000 are helping 21 counties pick up their messes.

Magoffin County was awarded $225,240.77 for the 2020 Illegal Open Dump Grant Program. Judge Executive Matthew Wireman showed LEX 18 the worst dump site, which is on Mine Fork Hill.

"This is not something that's a result of Mother Nature. This is a result of a handful of folks that would rather throw their garbage out than to properly dispose of it," said Wireman.

The mess includes bottles, cans, boxes, tires, and even tree branches and shrubbery dumped off in the past week. He pointed out two boats, car parts and a mattress underneath the debris. Solid Waste Coordinator Ashley Salyer pointed out the relatively fresh tire tracks leading to the dump site.

"It's likely a large dump truck that's backing up here and dumping trash over the hill," said Salyer. "You can see how deep these treads are here too."

Wireman envisions a more financially-thriving county which would accompany its ready-to-go workforce. But messes like this provide additional roadblocks.

"One eye sore can give a bad opinion of the whole county," said Wireman. "And we can't build our economy up if we look like a dump."

That's why Wireman pushed for this grant, and is going to spend the money on 15 dump sites, including $64,036.72 on Mine Fork Hill.

"So we're going to have to have excavators, backhoes, dump trucks, bulldozers, the whole nine yards. And it's going to take quite a bit of manpower on this site," said Wireman.

Work will start on the illegal dump sites next month, and should be completed by the end of February 2021. Judge Wireman says cameras will be installed in some spots to deter potential litterers. He hopes that restoring beauty in the mountains will instill pride in keeping them clean.