Bastrop County dumping victim stuck with cleanup bill

A property owner in Bastrop County is stuck with the bill after two men were arrested earlier this week for illegally dumping tires on her private property.

On Monday, Bastrop County deputies found nearly a ton of tires scattered around a Cedar Creek property. 

The landowner, who is not being identified, said she found the tires and someone living in an old house on the site after she went to check on her property. While there, she learned another load of tires was on the way.

The landowner called authorities who were at the scene when two men drove up in a truck loaded down with almost two tons of used tires.

Charles Gilley and Justin Davis were arrested and charged with illegal dumping of more than 1,000 pounds, felony charges, in addition to other local warrants. Both remain in the Bastrop County Jail.

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Charles Gilley and Justin Davis dumped about 1,900 pounds of tires on the property, without the effective consent of the property owner.


However, Sheriff Maurice Cook told FOX 7 Austin the cleanup is a different matter.

"The property owner, unfortunately, is going to be responsible for the tires. You know, we don't have any mechanism. You know, in the past, we one time found thousands and thousands of tires and the property owner was responsible for cleaning those up and not us, you know, 'cause we wouldn't encumber the county with the cleanup because it has no, um, mechanism to do that," said Sheriff Cook.

Illegal dumping is a big problem in Bastrop County. Sheriff Cook said in some cases used tires found at illegal dump sites come from local businesses, which in some cases have actually charged customers a disposal fee.

"You pay a disposal fee when you get your tires replaced. They have to then pay a fee to have the tires picked up," said Sheriff Cook. "And if they don't have to invest in those tires and normally four or $5 to dispose of those tires. Well, that up by 100 cars or a thousand tires, and you can see what kind of money they're saving. That would be a thousand tires, be $4,000, well, that's $4,000 they don't have to spend."

Holding illegal dumpers accountable is a priority, according to the sheriff. 

There could be more arrests in connection with the Cedar Creek dump site. The sheriff tells FOX 7 Austin they are working with Bastrop County Environmental Services and other state environmental agencies.