AUSTIN (KXAN) - If you head South on U.S. 183 in East Austin and take a left down Harold Court, you'll notice a lonely road that comes to a dead end.
You can see the downtown skyline and beautiful trees surrounding the area. But take a couple steps through the brush and you'll notice an ironic scene; bluebonnets emerged with trash.
"Sheer laziness is the only reason what I can come up with," said Ken May, the Solid Waste Program Manager with Capital Areal Council of Governments. "As local governments are able to provide more and more solid waste services, it is as if a certain sub genre of the population wants to see how far out of the way they can go to be a nuisance."
On Thursday afternoon, CAPCOG, which is a regional advocacy organization, discovered a piece of land littered with pesticide, empty oil, and gas containers. Some of the bottles even had liquid left in it. Hazardous waste, diapers, car batteries and other trash post a threat to the water supply and creates an eye sore.
"You can see over my shoulder somebody's been dumping here for quite sometime," May said.
He said illegal dumping is a growing problem across the city of Austin and the Travis County. When they stumble on dumping grounds like the one at the intersection of Harold Court and Ed Bluestein Boulevar, investigators will then go out, do a preliminary investigation and collect evidence.
"A lot of dumping goes on right around the landfill areas," said Sgt. Dennis Rudder, an investigator with the Travis County Attorney's Office. He said that people will come to the landfills with a truck full of trash or construction debris.
Rudder said once people figure out how much it cost to dispose their trash, they might turn around and dump those materials on a hidden street or roadway. Private companies control the costs and what is allowed into the landfills.
"When the economy starts to have a turn, we generally get more dumping out on the rural roadways and cul-de-sac places," said Rudder.
The Capital Area Regional Task Force has identified 500 locations where it has placed metal street signs that say "No Dumping."
The city of Austin has put up more than 30 cameras around the city to catch offenders.
RETF said the best way to help curb the problem is through education. There are usually three environmental law trainings a year for law enforcement, code compliance and other departments. The Basic Environmental Law Training the organization had was on March 21.
"A lot of people they'll notice something that looks out of wack and say, ‘well who do I call about that?' and what we're trying to do is educate the investigators," said Rudder during Thursday's class.
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It's not only a problem that is hurting the environment; the county said it cost taxpayers. According to Rudder, every year the county spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up illegal dump sites.
Once the evidence is collected, investigators will find out who thee property belongs to and take action from there. People can receive a misdemeanor or even receive a felony depending on the severity of each situation.
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