Roadside Dump “Too Dangerous” to Clean Up

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How would you feel if you had to look at high piles of trash daily?

One dump site has neighbors in Wayne County upset because the trash may be too difficult and too expensive to clean up.

Westbound drivers on Interstate 84 can't see what is under the eastbound bound lane.

A close look shows piles of trash on the steep bank of the Wilcox Creek that divides Lackawanna and Wayne counties.

"It's a disaster," said Paul Eder, who lives near the site. "This can't be like one household. It's impossible. God knows what's in them bags."

Taggers sprayed over a sign warning people not to dump trash along Sepko Road in Sterling Township, yet Newswatch 16 found everything from beer cans, to animal carcasses, even infant diapers along the bank.

Whomever is responsible for the mess may not have much respect for the environment, but they're slick. Newswatch 16 poked through a few bags of trash, and what was found was an envelope with an address; something that might lead to the person responsible.

"One day, somebody's going to slip up and throw something down there with their name in it," said a hopeful Paul Eder.

They may have.

Sterling Township Commissioner Mel Wheeler found a bottle of prescription medication. It was traced it to the CVS drug store in Hamlin, but privacy laws prevent the pharmacy from saying who this medicine is for.

There was a name on the bottle, but no address, and because the prescription is an antibiotic usually for children, Newswatch 16 is choosing not to reveal the name listed.

Instead we turned the bottle over to state police who plan to investigate.

"Who are the hogs or pigs that are doing this?" asked Sterling Township Supervisor Roger Swingle. He fears a clean-up would cost the struggling township thousands, and in places the hillside is so steep, standing on it is dangerous.

"We were going to contact the county, maybe get some prisoners, and put them to work," said Swingle.

"I came from New York," added Paul Eder. "I come up here for peace and quiet and now I have to deal with this." He hopes it's cleaned up before summer temperatures make the odor of the rotting garbage unbearable.

"You'll have to drive by with your windows closed, because the smell just stays under here," said Eder.

And he worries about the rain now washing trash into the creek and the effects it will have downstream.

A state Department of Environmental Protection official looked at the trash site.

The good news is he said it appears there are no hazardous materials.

The bad news is cleaning up a steep wet hillside with a 60 foot drop may be too dangerous, especially in wet grass.