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As Trash Prices Increase, Weld County Sees More Illegal Dumping

WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - Inflation and state surcharges on trash has caused dumping costs at landfills to go up. Some people in rural Weld County tell CBS4 that's led to an increase in illegal dumping of all sorts of trash.

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"It's just disrespect for the environment," said Joe Reider, who lives north of Brighton in unincorporated Weld County.

Reider says people have been inundating the roads near his home with tires, mattresses, and household trash.

"It seems like more of the household stuff lately," Reider said. "It's disrespectful to every other Coloradan, that people are willing to do this to our state."

He believes the higher trash service costs have led to more litter.

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"I take my trash to the dump as a contractor, it used to be $40, then it was $50, and now it's just well over $100," Reider said.

Jay McDonald, Director of Weld County Public Works, agrees. He says the dumping has gotten worse.

"It goes in cycles," McDonald said. "When the economy is good, fuel prices are low, and dump fees are not outrageous, people don't feel as bad about taking loads of trash to the dump, but when fuel prices get high as they are now, and dump fees are going up, they think, 'well, you know, it's a lot easier to just drive outside of town here and dump it on side of the road or somebody else will pick it up.'"

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The state has increased landfill dumping costs in recent years to help pay for more recycling programs, and in Front Range area landfills, there's an extra surcharge, all in attempt to encourage more recycling. But Reider feels that's had unintended consequences of bringing on the total opposite of recycling.

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