More Illegal Dumping Sites - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/1/05-Smith County

More Illegal Dumping Sites

It's been 3 years since Audrey Ferguson and her husband moved to County Road 146 in Smith County. And on her daily walks, she steps around things like this: washing machines, refrigerators, couches, tables, toys.

These are just some of the things Audrey says people have been dumping on the road to her house. But step only a few feet into the ditch and you also find oil containers, an old mattress, and cans of free-on.

"It's very prominent, down here where the no dumping sign is. Like people are saying, well I don't have to mind these signs, I don't have to abide by this law, I won't get caught," says Audrey.

Audrey and others have gotten so fed up with the garbage, they even picked it up themselves.

"My neighbor and I have walked and picked up trash. It is because it's my country. This is God's country and we should take pride in where we live," says Audrey.

But even with their efforts, the trash keeps piling up.

"I don't understand why people can't take a cup, take a bottle, take a can home and dump it instead of rolling down the window and dumping it," says Audrey.

With entire bags of trash lining the road, Audrey says she and her neighbors are embarrassed to have company over.

"They're like I am. We hate to direct people to our homes and have to go through this trash. It's not just our street, it's part of Tyler, part of Smith County, part of Texas, part of our country. It's theirs too. I don't understand it."

Audrey says she and her husband have contacted the Road and Bridge Commission with Smith County, who have removed many of the bigger appliances like TVs, stoves, and washing machines. They are still asking the county to send inmates to pick up the rest of the trash on the side of the road.

Last week we spoke to the Smith County's environmental investigator, Danny Brasher. He says for months he's been getting calls about dump sites, but couldn't investigate. He says that's because he wasn't getting reimbursed for gas money from county officials. We checked in with Mr. Brasher again. He says after a Commissioner's Court meeting last week, he was reimbursed on his first paycheck this month for gas, and has made almost a dozen stops to sites he plans to investigate.

If you see someone dumping trash in your area you can report them by calling the East Texas Council of Government, toll free at 1-877-A-DUMPER.

We want to point out, there is a similar number that uses the 800 prefix. That is not a part of the East Texas Council of Government. The correct number again, is 1-877-A-DUMPER.

Reporting: Braid Sharp

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