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Crews clean up after illegal dumping in Washington City

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Posted at 5:50 PM, Apr 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-25 19:50:30-04

WASHINGTON CITY, Utah - Dozens of Washington City residents and employees spent the Friday morning clearing trash from vacant lots.

It’s part of an effort by the city to keep illegal dumping from happening on recreation land.

Volunteers pulled out tires, yard waste and filled five trucks with trash from the land north of town between exit 10 and 15, taking it where it belongs: the county landfill.

“A lot of times people think it’s more convenient to just go out into a vacant area and leave refuse,” said Washington City police spokesperson Ed Kantor. “Rather than dispose of it properly.”

Washington City organizes the cleanup every year as part of the preparation for Cotton Days. Kantor said it has gotten better since they began, but it still takes several hours to get it all.

“From time to time we’ve had appliances like washing machines and refrigerators that have been just dumped out of the back of trucks,” Kantor said. “So, a little variety of everything.”

Dumping is illegal on city land, and signs are posted to warn residents, but Kantor said it’s difficult to patrol, mostly because of the size.

“It’s a big area that’s open,” Kantor said. “When we can and when someone calls, we’ll respond and try and take care of it.”

Residents said it’s disappointing to see littering on the public recreation lands, and they said they are grateful to the city for their efforts in raising awareness.

“The city goes a great job just managing it and keeping it clean,” Resident Jethro Spencer said.

The cleanup is part of the city’s preparations for the Cotton Days festival, which runs from April 25 to May 9.