KINGMAN — The supervisors were given an update Monday on efforts to clean up Mohave County.
Detective Todd Davidson gave the board an update on the Environmental Rural Area Cleanup Enforcement program, which enforces anti-littering laws. ERACE, started in 2002, has a coordinator and two detectives. The program also organizes community cleanup events as well as prosecuting illegal dumping.
Davidson said his office works with the sheriff’s office, public works, development services. environmental health, and probation, as well as the State Land Department and the Bureau of Land Management.
In his presentation, Davidson said that from December 2014 to November 2015, ERACE removed 248 tons of litter and 2,658 tires from illegal dumpsites throughout the county. There were also 41 cleanup projects and one prosecution requested.
From December 2015 to November 2016, ERACE removed 322 tons of litter, a 30 percent increase from the year before, and 2,992 tires, a 13 percent increase. There were also 35 cleanup projects and three prosecution requests. In the past two years, it would take 81 garbage trucks to remove the trash that was removed, Davidson said.
District 1 Sup. Gary Watson said the county is the fifth largest in the country and with three people in the ERACE program, it’s an impossible task. He also suggested reducing the five-day notice to one or two days.
District 5 Sup. Steve Moss said the illegal dumping problem is wide spread in his Fort Mohave area and suggested fining the homeowner who hires an unlicensed contractor to take their trash away, unaware that the person may dump the trash illegally.
Moss said a homeowner, especially a repeat offender, knows they are playing Russian roulette when hiring someone off the street to dump their trash. He also said the Fort Mojave tribe is seeing a problem with illegal dumpsites.
District 4 Sup. Jean Bishop suggested looking at mandatory trash pickups in higher density areas of the county. She also said the county’s low taxes adds to the problem, with the county attracting lower-income people. Another suggestion is free dump days at the county landfill. ERACE can only do clean ups on public property not on private property, she added.
District 3 Sup. Buster Johnson, as well as Moss, said there should be tougher consequences for offenders since illegal dumping is getting worse and worse each year.
Davidson said some of the problem areas are in the Butler and Birdland area of north Kingman and in Golden Valley. The program tries to have a community cleanup event once or twice a year. A reward program in the event of prosecution also helps in reducing illegal dumping.