Gallia County, Ohio, cracking down on illegal trash dumping

This is one of 10 illegal trash dumping sites targeted for cleanup in Gallia County. (WCHS/WVAH)

Gallia County authorities are hoping a state grant will help them combat the issue of illegal trash dumping. A variety of items have been found along the side of the road in rural areas of the county.

Ten illegal trash dumping areas have been identified by Gallia County for cleanup. One of those areas is property that belongs to Victor Niday. He said people dump trash in that area 24 hours a day, but he can't see the area from his house.

"This is our property, and we just like to take care of it," Nida said. "We don't like trash, so we clean up the best we can."

Nida said the illegal trash dumping has gotten worse in recent years.

"Everything from deer carcasses to trash, garbage, tree limbs," he said.

Troy Johnson, chief deputy of the Gallia County Sheriff's Department, said everything from furniture to electronics has been dumped.

"Currently, one we are working now has a lot of old television sets thrown into them," Johnson said.

Johnson said illegal trash dumping sites are a drain on the department's resources, and an environmental and health hazard. Ironically, he points out the garbage is used to identify suspects.

"We go through the trash. We identify names, addresses, Social Security numbers, telephones - anything like that. Old phone bills that we can use to try and track back where the trash originated from," he said.

The sheriff's department has applied for a state grant to get more resources to crack down on those who illegally dump their trash in areas like this. The department should know by the end of the month if it is getting the grant.

"Let's just say there are a lot of surveillance tools that would be used," Johnson said.

The goal would be to hopefully make illegal trash dumping a thing of the past.

Last year, Gallia County collected more than 21 tons of garbage illegally dumped along roads.

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