People In Smith County Want Their Neighbor To Clean Up His Trash

When you drive by James Cunningham's house, it's hard not to notice the old red car sitting in his driveway. The same car, neighbors say that's been there for eight years, but that's not all Cunningham has in his yard.

"See that barrel right there," said Cunningham. "There's oil in that barrel right there." Cunningham used to have a business there called James Equipment Service. He said he repaired trucks and that's where the oil came from.

"When I drain it out of the vehicles, I put it in those barrels to haul off and get rid of later, and that's all I have here," said Cunningham. From the road, one can only see a couple of barrels.

"There's not a truck load of them or nothing, but yeah I got two or three barrels," said Cunningham. It turns out, Cunningham has more than two or three barrels. Constable Frank Creath got a complaint from a neighbor, so he went over to Cunningham's and checked it out.

"There's a lot of oil and a lot of barrels and a lot of stuff all over the fence and on the ground out there," said Creath. Creath says he's seen this type of trashing before, and that it's only dangerous if Cunningham decides to burn it.

"That was one of the things we were looking for, to see if he was burning the oil, but we did not see any evidence of it," said Creath. Right now, he's not sure what he's going to do about it.

"We have to make the decision here on whether or not we want to sue him and take him to court and try to make him clean it up, or whether or not we want to go out there and arrest him and put him in jail," said Creath. Cunningham says he will get rid of the oil.

"I need to get somebody to come and get it," said Cunningham. If he doesn't, Creath says he will take the necessary action to get the yard cleaned up. He also says this type of trashing is a county problem. If you see similar trashing, contact your local sheriff's department.

Molly Reuter, reporting.