Illegal dumping costing some landowners money

Illegal dumping costing landowners money.JPG

Illegal dumping costing landowners money (Source: KGBT)

Illegal dumping in the Valley has been a problem for years and is costing landowners money.

The Obst Family owns about 190 acres of land in Hidalgo County and grow a variety of vegetables, corn, cotton and citrus, but the sight of trash on their property is never ending.

“One day we’ll come out there’s trash. A week later, there’s more trash,” said Steven Obst, supervisor at Paul Obst Farm.

“Refrigerators, couches, they put them out in the field where you’re farming and it’s getting worse really,” said Paul Obst, the owner of Paul Obst Farm. “But this [has] been going on for 15, 20 years.”

Farming is the Obst Family’s livelihood, but people dumping trash on their land makes it more difficult to raise their crops.

“I’ve even had it where they I guess people broke up cement slabs and they dumped that out in the field,” said Paul. “And that took a lot of money to clean up.”

“Sometimes a little bit of lost due to land that’s not being used because there’s trash where we could farm,” said Steven.

Landowners are responsible for maintaining their property.

So, the Obst family moves the trash to county property, reports it to the Constable’s Office, who will need to investigate the case before the trash is even picked up.

But Steven said having to clean up other people’s mess is also costing the business time.

“It’s a full-time job just to keep up with all the trash you see here, we don’t have that time,” said Steven.

Steven said they are considering in using cameras to catch people in the act.

“It’s just a matter of is it going to help,” said Steven. “How much are we willing to spend and how much time we’re willing to take in order to maintain that.”

But they’re also urging the public to step up.

“We’re encouraging other people to stop this and find a way that we can clean up the Valley,” said Steven.

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