LOS CHAVEZ, N.M. (KRQE) It stinks, it’s illegal and it’s getting out of hand.
From trash to animals, neighbors say a New Mexico road has turned into a dump and they want something done about it.
“This illegal dump getting started behind us is getting out of control,” Case Towner said.
It’s a real eye sore. And for Towner, it flat out stinks – in more ways than one.
“We’re talking pickup truck loads of stuff getting dropped off every night that blows around,” Towner said.
In Valencia County’s Los Chavez, near the state prison, Towner says he’s seen things go from bad to ugly next to his small organic farm.
“It’s starting to escalate to every night and larger and larger amounts of garbage and frankly, disgusting garbage, like dead animals,” Towner said.
KRQE News 13 was there as Valencia County Animal Control picked up a dead javelin and a dead dog.
“Illegal dumping is a systemic problem throughout the county,” said Kelly Bouska, Valencia County Public Works Director.
This problem isn’t going unnoticed.
“It’s one of the issues we face daily,” Bouska said.
She says her department is simply understaffed and can’t keep up with amount of trash being dumped illegally.
There’s also no weekly curbside pickup out in these rural areas – a double whammy. But a plan to offer that service is tied up in a legal limbo.
“We have signed a contract, however, that contract was protested and is currently in the court system,” Bouska said.
Bouska says it’s been in the system for almost two years.
“It’s very frustrating and we’re just waiting for the court process to finish.”
She says some of those fees with the trash pickup will then be used to beef up county resources to fight these kinds of smelly situations.
As for Towner, he says he’s going to keep an eye on things. He’s even considering putting up cameras in hopes of bagging whoever is behind this.
“You can catch bad guys when they’re doing bad things with a simple camera,” Towner said.
As of now, people without curbside service have to use the Conejo Transfer Service out on the Manzano Expressway. There is a $5 charge for every truck load of trash you bring in.
In Valencia County, illegal dumping can land you up to $300 fine or 90 days behind bars.
Code Enforcement can go through trash to see if they can find who it belongs to.