Talk of illegal dumping in Lancaster is piling up

Illegal dumping sites like this one on Merry Point Road have caught the attention of Lancaster citizens.
by Audrey Thomasson

LANCASTER—After a citizen complained to supervisors in February about illegal dumping off Merry Point Road, another citizen took up the cause and found additional abuses in the upper part of the county.

At last Thursday’s board of supervisors meeting, George Bott gave supervisors a presentation on the piles of garbage he found in Districts 1 and 2. His pictures showed piles of tires, electronics, discarded furniture and other trash on Merry Point, Ottoman Ferry, Nuttsville and Regina roads, some located just outside county refuse sites.

Trash has been dumped just 750 feet from the Lancaster County Courthouse, he said.

Citizens also are dumping in the water on the Western Branch of the Corrotoman River and at Crescent Cove Point.

To legally dispose of tires in the county, “Citizens are required to make a trip to the county administration offices to pay a $1 fee, then a trip to the Lively Wood Yard where they must show their receipt,” said Bott. “Used motor oil and antifreeze isn’t taken and must be disposed of privately.”

Beside causing blight to the landscape, he noted that old tires are a breeding ground for mosquitoes which spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile virus and malaria.

“Discarded TV’s, refrigerators, paints, batteries, light bulbs and plastic bottles are a public nuisance. They do not fit the rural character of Lancaster County with our wine trails, oyster trails, scenic byways, ferry and waterfront. They also hurt real estate values,” he said.

Bott suggested the county make it a priority by enforcing the litter laws and prosecute offenders. He said citizens could help by reporting violators to the sheriff’s department.

Northumberland County takes the items he cited without charge, said Bott.

“Consider updating policies,” he said. “Make disposal of six or fewer tires free. Take all trash: TVs; used oil and antifreeze; paints; batteries; and electronic appliances—all the time and at every location. This is a responsibility of government…to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Act, the code of Virginia, keeping citizens safe and environmental stewardship.”