Sam Wilson: "We have a Trash Problem" - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sam Wilson: "We have a Trash Problem"

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GEORGETOWN, De. - In Sussex County, you don't need to go far to find secluded back roads, covered in trash. From tires and television sets to mattresses and couches -- you can find it all on back-roads like Stiener Road in Georgetown. Now one council member said he is "fed up."

"They're getting away with it," said Republican Councilman Sam Wilson from District 2. "And we're not doing anything."

Wilson said that he had heard from various constituents about the trash, and at the meeting he called for improvements in cracking down on this trash dumping. By a unanimous vote of 4-0 council instructed Chief Constable Michael Costello to investigate ways to limit this illegal dumping. Council member Joan Deaver was not in attendance at Tuesday meeting.

"It's the lack of concern," Wilson said. "They don't care about you or me that tries to clean up our trash. Or try to do half-way right. They don't give a hoot. So they just pollute."

Costello said he is looking at all options to try and limit the amount of dumping. However he said jurisdiction is an important factor. Criminal investigations into illegal dumping are conducted by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Crime Unit, and not the county. The constable's office is currently not allowed to arrest those responsible, nor are they allowed to initiate fines.

"There is no current ordinance in the county code for us to do anything about it," he said. "Our primary concern is to be concerned with what's going on on a specific property."

Within the individual property - The Constable's Office can enforce county ordinances.

James Faedtke from the DNREC Crime Unit said that they have 11 officers statewide, who investigate crimes like illegal dumping. Faedtke said that in 2014, they responded to 115 citizen complaints of such dumping or littering. On Tuesday, various council members called for an increase in the number of officers in the unit. Faedtke said that these increases would have a cost, but one he was open to.

"There's not a police department in the country that would say no to more people," he said.

Faedtke said that the unit has also set up cameras to catch this dumping, although he chose not to release the number of cameras, nor their locations. Faedtke said the agency could benefit from more cameras as well, although he said there was a significant cost, not only for installing these devices, but also for continuously servicing them. 

If you see trash in your neighborhood, you can reach DNREC at 1-800-662-8802. DNREC will not only remove this trash, but also investigate who left it there.

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