Sheriff tackles trash problem in Lincoln County

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LINCOLN COUNTY, Okla. - Residents in Lincoln County are upset over illegal dumping near their homes.

“This dump has been here the 30 years I've been around.”

It's a never ending problem, an eyesore and, on a hot summer day, you can just imagine what it smells like.

That's why Lincoln County Sheriff Charlie Dougherty is trying to get the trash trouble handled.

“Most of the time, they are just cutting corners and don't want to pay a fee at the dump,” Dougherty said. “We want people to be accountable for picking their trash up or taking it to a legal dump."

The sheriff is getting help from the state’s environmental agency.

A program allows the department $43,000 for a part-time trash cop, 'no dumping' signs and new cameras.

“These cameras, it will send a text message to four different cell phones, so we are getting information pretty quick that someone is there doing something,” he said.

There’s also a trash trailers used by inmates to haul away big items.

The money comes from state solid waste fees.

In addition to being an eye sore, this type of dumping causes environmental problem.

For example, an area where tires are sitting is especially concerning.

“That's a creek that's going to flow into somewhere else, and that's eventually going to be your drinking water,” he said.

Dougherty said he hopes having a trash cop sends a clear message to the public that illegal dumping won’t be tolerated.

Since the sheriff got the funding, the trash cop has found 48 illegal dump sites and investigated 35 cases.

Fifteen of those were sent to the district attorney's office for prosecution.

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