Trashing East Texas: Surrounded By Trash - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/14/06-Smith County

Trashing East Texas: Surrounded By Trash

For the second time in just a week, authorities discover a huge illegal dump site in Smith County. This latest site was found on County Road 452 and County Road 456. That's near Van in the Northwest corner of Smith County.

Monday, we got a tour of the newest dumpsite that officials say might be the worst yet. "We found a beautiful piece of acreage in the country and built our retirement home and then to lift our head up and see what is around us," says Rick, a neighbor to the acres and acres of dumped items.

Officials believe the trash has been piling up for decades.  There are more than a dozen cars, oil drums, tires as well as abandoned and occupied mobile homes on the property.

"What makes this property worse is that where we were at last week is because people live here," says Danny Brasher, Environmental Investigator.

"I can't image how people can live in these conditions," says Rick.

While surveying the property; the owner, Cole Hayes came to meet officials. He says he is working to clean it up.

"I'm 23 years old I just inherited this year. I'm trying to clean it up," says Hayes.

You've got thirty days to clean it or I'm going to have to make an arrest," says Brasher.

While at the scene, the property owner did threaten officials, the complainant, and our KLTV staff.

 A reminder, illegal dumping is a state felony, punishable by a $10,000 fine and/or 2 years in jail.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. 

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