Stop illegal dumping

Local hollows and hillsides are much cleaner and more attractive than they were many years ago, when using them as dumps was common practice. Yet unfortunately, some people still seem to think an accessible but remote spot is an invitation to deposit a pile of rubbish.

Brooke County commissioners heard a complaint about illegal dumping last week from a Wellsburg resident. He began by commending county officials for arranging with the state Division of Natural Resources to clean up a dump site a few weeks ago. Enough garbage to fill one dump truck and two pickup trucks was carted off as part of the effort.

But already, more trash, including tile and dry wall, has been dumped at the same location, commissioners were told.

Cracking down on those responsible for illegal dumping sometimes seems to be a lesson in futility, as the Wellsburg man put it.

But the fines for those caught dumping illegally can be stiff ones – as much as $2,500 plus cleanup and court costs. A few convictions, followed by severe penalties, would deter some who might otherwise be tempted to dispose illegally of household trash or construction debris.

Sheriff Chuck Jackson said his deputies will be watching for trucks carrying large loads of refuse. He also encouraged Brooke County residents to report illegal dumping, by calling 304-527-1430 or 304-737-3660. That is an excellent idea, which would help keep Brooke County clean.