Goodwill depends on donations to help less fortunate East Texans. They want good clothing and usable household items, not trash and old furniture. Real donations should be made during daytime hours, because drop-offs made overnight are often stolen.
David Lester, Goodwill's operations director, said, "People are dumping their household garbage and trash on us at midnight hours. We need donations, but not household garbage."
Some of it is also hazardous waste like old tires and paint cans. Dumping these products at a business is the wrong way to get rid of them.
Beauford Chapman, director of Inspection Services in Lufkin, said, "Any household debris that they want to get rid of - if they will place it beside the curb and just simply make a phone call to Solid Waste and request them to pick that up - Solid Waste will drop by and pick that material up and dispose of it for them."
State law defines illegal dumping as placement of waste or debris on someone else's property without their permission. It's hard to track them down, but if dumpers are caught, they're investigated and ticketed. The fine can be as much as $2,000 per day, per violation, but they're not the only ones who end up paying for their trash.
"This is causing us to spend a lot more," said Lester. "Of course, this so far has increased our budget for trash over 15 percent. So, we're talking an easy extra $20,000 or more."
If you suspect illegal dumping in Lufkin, call Inspection Services at 633-0298. The city will usually respond by phone or e-mail within 24 hours.