It’s a common problem around scrap yards: People dump garbage and other debris outside the gates and along the roads.
Diane Beaman saw it when she lived next to an auto wrecking yard, and she sees it now at her own place, Poor Boys Auto Wrecking.
“They leave household stuff, things we don’t take,” Beaman said. “Those are things that we don’t deal with.”
Most recently, someone dropped a boat in front of her West Powerhouse Road scrap yard. And she said she’s stuck with the cost of having to deal with it.
However, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office is preparing to crack down on illegal dumpers, warning that cameras could be used to identify offenders, who could be fined as much as $1,000 for illegal dumping.
While the sheriff’s office cited Poor Boys as an example of illegal dumping, Detective Sgt. Judd Towell said it is a problem that is occurring at other scrap yards and recyclers.
“People are dropping off refrigerators, freezers and things that they’re required to have the coolant removed before they are disposed,” Towell said. “They are dropping things off at the locked gates and expecting (the scrap businesses) to process it.”
Many of the items are not things the scrap-metal companies usually take, so they wind up going to one of the county’s landfills — with the business person picking up the bill.
“You’re not helping them by dumping stuff that they have to pay for,” Towell said.
Landfill fees range from $2 for a single car tire to $5.75 for an appliance, while animal carcasses cost $36. Standard tipping fees are $36 a ton.
Sometimes, the county must foot the bill if the material is dumped on the county’s right of way, Towell said.
Under state law, littering is punishable by fines ranging from $103 to $1,000, and sheriff’s officials say the illegal dumper could also be charged the cost of removing the items. And sheriff’s officials said cameras may be set up in areas where illegal dumping has been a problem to catch the perpetrators.
Sheriff’s officials recommend people haul appliances and other garbage to the landfill, while contacting the sheriff’s office to have junked cars inspected before being hauled off by a wrecking vendor.