Three Iowa counties have been chosen to launch pilot projects designed to prevent illegal dumping. Gerry Schnepf, director of Keep Iowa Beautiful, says the term illegal dumping can include everything from old refrigerators to yard waste.It can also include building and construction materials that are placed generally on public grounds but it can also mean putting the trash in someone else’s receptacle or dumpster — it’s all against the law. Schnepf says the counties chosen for the project are: Linn, Boone and Appanoose. Linn is urban, Boone is mid-sized and Appanoose is very rural. Schnepf says each county will launch its own anti-dumping program to see what works best. The counties are given a “tool kit” of ideas to pick from — strategies including radio P-S-As, TV shows, posters and working with people that have delivery vehicles that might be able to help spot dumpers. Schnepf says illegal dumping affects the beauty and character of our state, damages the environment and costs Iowa taxpayers millions of dollars each year to clean up.It cost Boone County 77-thousand dollars last year to clean up illegal dump sites. If that material had been taken to the landfill, it would have cost 23-hundred dollars. Starting this month, the counties have a full year to try out their campaigns to see what works. Next summer, their successes and failures will be analyzed and Schnepf hopes the program can go statewide. A near-250-thousand dollar grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is making the pilot program possible. For more information, surf to “www.iowadnr.com” or “www.keepiowabeautiful.com”.
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