Tracking Trash is a Dirty Job

Angelina County Jail inmates regularly pick up old furniture, ragged clothes and other garbage illegally dumped outside the city limits. Sergeant Al Blangger spends much of his time digging through other people's trash for information that'll link him to the owner.

"We're having a lot of problems with people putting trash in private dumpsters, like at the dollar stores and Polk stores," said the county litter abatement deputy. "There're signs on most of these dumpsters and anything over five pounds, they can be charged up to a $2,000 fine and six months in jail."

Sgt. Blangger found a large amount of garbage hidden in the woods off Highway 103 West. After 13 years as the county's litter abatement deputy, he still has a hard time catching up with illegal dumpers because of the time it takes to track them down.

"A lot of people that have trash piled up in their yard; somebody'll come by and say they'll haul it off for $20 or $30 and they'll give them $20 or $30, and instead of taking it to the landfill, they'll take it out on back roads and dump it in the woods."

And if Sgt. Blangger can't find the person who actually dumped the garbage, the owner of the trash will be held responsible for the citation. As for the mess dumped on the side of Old Diboll Highway last weekend...

"We've already caught the person," said Sgt. Blangger. "We've got names out of it. It was 15 bags of trash and we are gonna issue a citation, even though that person didn't haul the trash out there; they claim they paid somebody to haul it off."

In fact, that person cleaned it up the very next morning after a story aired on the East Texas News. But unfortunately, there's still more illegal trash sitting on the side of Old Diboll Highway.

If you see someone illegally dumping trash outside the city limits, call Angelina County's Litter Abatement office at (936) 637-3668.