Actually, our headline is not quite accurate. Our new google map — Illegal Dumping Sites on Washington State Trust Land — only shows the nearly 200 locations we were able to investigate in 2010.
DNR’s Law Enforcement Service says that for every known dumping site, there may be two or three more that haven’t been found, were cleaned up by eager volunteers (thanks!), too difficult to reach at this time, or our 8 officers (who cover more than 2 million acres of forestland) haven’t investigated yet.
Cleaning up those sites costs DNR around $200,000 a year — an average of $1,000 per site. Many sites cost less to clean up but costs can spiral upwards when there are suspected hazardous chemicals, the trash is at the bottom of a ravine, or the car is dumped in a creek requiring an environmental clean up.
We hope alert citizens out there will call 911 when suspicious activities are spotted on public or private lands.
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