June 25, 2022

County approves trash dumping rule

It’s official.

If trash or other debris intended for the landfill is found along a county road or in a ditch, the person who left it there can be fined if proven having done so.

Union County Board of Supervisors approved Monday the ordinance fining people for illegal trash dumping. The issue has been a longstanding problem for the county costing them thousands of dollars every year for the time and resources needed to remove the items.

The board held a public hearing Monday then accepted the second reading and waived the third reading. The only change from the second reading was to remove a section under criminal penalties recommended by county attorney Shane O’Toole.

The fine for the first offense for trash dumping is $750. Second and additional offenses will have a fine of $1,000 each.

The county considers trash as leftover food, food packaging, beverage containers, cigarette butts, boxes, paper, cardboard, cans, yard clippings, wood, glass, bedding, tires, household appliances, furniture, mechanical equipment, construction waste, junk vehicles and parts of vehicles, and various other items that are typically considered trash.

Earlier this month was Creston’s annual clean up days where residents could have unwanted items removed by the city. Seventy-three residences participated. The program ended Friday. According to preliminary records, the following number of items were taken; air conditioners, 12; washers, 13; dryers, 10; refrigerators, 15; stoves, 2; microwaves, 9; dehumidifiers, 14; dishwashers, 4; freezers, 4; hot water heaters, 7; air purifiers, 1; televisions, 17.

Union County Environmental Health has a complaint form for those who witness suspected trash dumping. The form is available at the health’s office at 705 E. Taylor in Creston.

Supervisors agreed to to review all of the county’s ordinances and make any needed revisions. Union County Auditor Sandy Hysell said ordinances are typically reviewed every five to seven years.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.