NBC4 is continuing to shine a light on the problem with illegal trash dumping.
We just got our hands on numbers from the prosecutor’s office that show cases are on the rise. This is a problem that Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien says isn’t going away anytime soon. This isn’t just a problem in the city. He also sees this in the county.
“It’s a problem because those who need to dispose of material. It can be costly. You avoid the costs of properly disposing of it by doing it though the back door,” said O’Brien.
These types of illegal dumps are on the rise. NBC4 requested the number of felony cases and cases in the county O’Brien’s office has been able to prosecute. In 2015 his office prosecuted 30 cases. In 2016 31, and 2017 the numbers jumped up to 77.
“I think the cases increased substantially last year probably because the focus on the open dumping and some massive littering organized schemes,” said O’Brien.
To help put a stop to this the prosecutors office put together an Environmental Crimes Task Force. That force includes the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wild Life and the Franklin County Sheriff’s office. O’Brien said this team is being more aggressive than ever in hopes that one day, illegal dumping will be a problem of the past.