GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - BLM Rangers say illegal dumping is becoming a big problem in Mesa County and that our beautiful views are in jeopardy of turning into a landfill.
There are 1.2 million acres of public land on the Western Slope for everyone to enjoy, but some people are abusing it and filling public land with their trash.
Dumping on public land is not only against the law, officals say it's also a burden to taxpayers and harmful to wildlife.
Empty cases of beer, TVs and even refrigerators scatter the land.
Ken Lloyd, a Law Enforcement Ranger with the BLM, says the garbage ends up here because "people don't want to pay fees at the landfill and to people coming out to target shoot and just leaving their targets behind."
He says this build up can be a problem because "refrigerators, microwaves, and TVs get Freon, heavy metals, stuff that can leach into the ground and eventually get into the water supplies."
Since October, the BLM has picked up enough trash to fill 18 dump trucks. Lloyd said they're working hard to clean it all up. He says, "We have to spend countless man hours out here cleaning up people's garbage basically when that money could be better spent improving trail-heads or public recreation facilities for different recreation areas."
If caught, the fine for illegal dumping can range from $250 to $1,000 and the dumper will have to clean up their mess.