JIM WELLS COUNTY — There is an old adage "out of sight, out of mind," and that is what many people are thinking when it comes to illegal dumping.
Old tires, couches, and trash of all sorts can be seen spread throughout the back roads of Jim Wells County.
Illegal dumping is not only happening in the cities, but it’s also happening in rural areas like Orange Grove and Sandia.
The county says they’ve gotten numerous complaints about the mounds of trash, tires and household appliances found littered throughout the county.
“Sandia and Orange Grove, we have always had problems with illegal dumping. People just don’t have any respect and don’t use the dump or the dumpsters,” said Jim Wells County Constable Precinct 3 Jim Long.
Whether you throw it out the window of your car, or you deposit your waste knowingly on someone’s property, it is a violation of the law.
“Normally from zero to five pounds it will be a Class C misdemeanor, turned into the justice of the peace of thatprecinct. Five pounds to one-hundred is a Class Bmisdemeanor. It is usually by pounds, and it also can be by volume. The majority of the time, the poundage, the weight, is the contributing factor, but you can charge them with the enhanced offense, whichever. If it’s in a closed container or barrel, that turns into a felony offense,” said Long.
Besides being an eyesore, the trash is also a hazard.
“If it gets trashed, it scatters out and blows onto people’s property. The plastic bags, if cows eat them, it can end up killing the cow; it compounds,” said Long.
When the county comes and collects the trash, the expense for the pickup comes out of the taxpayers' pocket.
Officials are asking anyone with information on these incidents to call the Jim Wells County Constable Precinct 3 at361-547-9895.