A 21-year veteran of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has been assigned to crack down on illegal trash dumping.
Deputy Noel Garcia has been assigned as special services deputy for the Solid Waste Department.
The new position is a response to complaints that illegal dumping has been on the rise since 2015 when the county first began charging to dump at the landfill and transfer sites.
“There’s a concern about illegal dumping in the county,” said Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice, who came up with the idea of having a deputy focus on solid waste enforcement. “We don’t have any proof that illegal dumping has been on the rise since landfill fees were implemented, but we have a lot of people who believe that’s true.”
Boice said whether or not illegal dumping has increased, it definitely exists. It was a problem before the landfill began charging and is still a problem today, he said.
“We hope to see a drastic reduction in illegal dumpsites throughout the county, that’s our goal,” Boice said.
Boice said the county’s budget problems have led to some cuts in the sheriff’s office, and it helps to have deputies funded through other sources. The county contracts, for example, with the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and private timberland owners for enforcement, but the county benefits by having an additional deputy who can respond in case of a tragedy.
Garcia won’t be paid by an outside organization, but his salary will be paid out of the Solid Waste Department’s budget. The money will come from fees collected at the Douglas County landfill and transfer sites.