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Illegal dumpers start to pay up

Wadena County has collected $1,185.53 as of Nov. 3 from people who dumped trash at the county's recycling sites.

"There was some real consternation on the part of those people being fined," Mike Gibson, a consultant overseeing the reorganization of the solid waste department, told commissioners. "They were upset, and yet I guess that didn't surprise anybody. Nobody wants to get a bill like that."

The fee per bag dumped was $30.10. Minnesota Statute 115A.99 allows counties to fine people for at least twice and no more than five times the amount of what it costs the county to remove, process and dispose of unlawfully placed waste.

After 10 days of receiving notice, violators who do not pay will be referred to the county attorney for further action.

Dumping is still occurring at the sites, Gibson said.

The county noticed an increase in trash dumping at its recycling sites this summer. County employees have been collecting records of names found in the trash and when the garbage was left.