Jun 17, 2013 5:06 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - Every day hundreds of people bring their trash to the landfill but it's the trash that doesn't make it to the landfill that has city officials enforcing an ordinance. The new ordinance is that everyone bringing trash into the landfill needs to cover their load with a sheet or tarp. Anyone who doesn't faces a $10 fine.
"Let's face it," Landfill Manager Tony Benavides said, "we're trying to clean up the city and if you're part of the crowd that's polluting the city, we need to try to prevent it before it actually occurs."
Benavides says loads carrying cement likely don't need a tarp but ones carrying lighter garbage certainly do. It sounds easy enough but not everyone is on board.
"I don't have trash blowing out," said one man hauling leaves to the landfill. "A few leaves may have blown off but it's tied down there ain't nothing coming out of there."
The goal is to keep trash from blowing onto road on the way to the landfill. Ordinance enforcers write citations on the spot for those who don't cover their load and now they're finding that people will drive all the way to the landfill and then pull on the tarp to avoid the fee. We caught one man doing just that this afternoon.
"To satisfy the requirement," Henry Arredondo said when we asked about why he chose to put the tarp on after he arrived to the landfill.
Ordinance enforcers who catch anyone pulling a tarp over their load when they get to the landfill will charge them the $10 fee, regardless. Arredondo said he would start leaving his trash somewhere else if that was the case. He isn't the only one who said he'd just leave trash somewhere else, however. Another man hauling branches wasn't pleased he had to pay the fine and threatened to do the same.
"What do leaves hurt?" he said. "I'll just start doing like everybody else and start dumping them on the side of the road."
Some frustrated customers said the fee was just another way for the city to rake in some cash but Benavides says this ordinance isn't to raise money; it's to leave this city cleaner for generations to come.