‘Tis the season for spring cleaning, a chore that takes many to the city landfill. But the closure of one Stateline dump is creating a messy situation for residents and law enforcement.
Dump trucks working to cap off the Freeport Landfill are the only sign of activity here since the landfill shut its doors on April 5. Since the closure reports of illegal dumping are piling up in Stephenson County.
"It's just starting now with the spring cleanup I would think it's going to put a lot more out there. People get piles of garbage and need to get rid of them and there's seems to be no alterative in Stephenson County, for the people that use to just go to the landfill," said Capt. Keith Eikstadt, Stephenson Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
As police search for litter ordinance violators, highway crews are being called out to clean up the garbage.
"This is the first time it's happen to us in our township. With the landfill being closed in Freeport, it could happen quite a bit more," said Jim Alber, Lancaster Highway Dept. Road Commissioner.
A new Freeport transfer station isn't scheduled to open until next year.
To fill the gap, city officials are considering placing dumpsters at the landfill site. They're also encouraging residents to sign up for rural trash pick up and use recycling centers
"And I would hope the citizens out there if they saw a suspicious vehicle full of garbage in their area, driving around, call us so we can catch them in the act,” Eikstadt said.
Police arrested a man Monday for one of the illegal dumping incidents near Lancaster Township. Stephenson Co. cited Tommy Clankie, 22, of Freeport, for disposal of litter from a motor vehicle. It's a Class B misdemeanor.
Clankie was located through personal documents left at the scene of the dumping.