Illegal dumpsite appears near Belen Transfer Station

New Mexico News

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A massive illegal dumpsite has turned up in Valencia County only about a quarter mile from the place where people are supposed to dump their trash. Locals said it’s disappointing to see their community being treated this way, with trash, furniture, mattresses, and appliances all along the road near the Belen Transfer Station.

“It’s everything from dead animals to furniture, house garbage. You name it, I’ve seen it,” one local said. He says he’ll even pick up some of the mess on his own time because he’s tired of seeing these dumpsites popping up across the county.

County Manager Danny Monette said code enforcement gets two to five calls a month about illegal dumpsites. Those officers are out looking for illegal dumpsites and try to identify who may have dumped items by searching for clues, like mail.

The county has also scheduled eight community clean-up events through March, but Monette says they could always use more help. “We make a donation to the youth group, such as a football team or wrestling team or a band. If they want to help us with a cleanup, we’ll make a donation to their organization,” Monette explained.

Monette says most of those groups are made up of high schoolers, but that the county also wants to start an education campaign among elementary school kids.

People caught littering have ten days to respond to the citation and about a month to clean up the mess, or they’ll get hit with fines. The county says they’ve caught individuals and even businesses for dumping but did not have recent statistics for how many have been cited.

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