WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - Officials with Precinct 4 of the Williamson County Constable's Office say illegal dumping is a problem, and it needs to stop.
"It's a constant struggle on the east side of the county," Lt. Mike Pendley with the Williamson County Constable's Office said.
He says they get about a dozen tips about dump sites a week, and it costs about half a million dollars of taxpayer money a year to clean it up.
Deputy Rashad Smith showed FOX 7 how they investigate at one dump site.
"There's some paperwork down here with information on it with a name and address, so of course, this will be our first lead, we'll go to whatever address this is, go talk to this person, see what they got to say," he said. "Sometimes they confess right away, sometimes they give us the runaround, and we have to do some more digging and investigating."
Every item is weighed on a scale and added up.
The penalty is harsher depending on how heavy what you dumped is.
You can be arrested for dumping anything over five pounds. Anything under 1,000 pounds is a misdemeanor, and over 1,000 pounds is a state jail felony.
If someone is hired to throw stuff away, and they illegally dump it, anything over 200 pounds is a state jail felony.
"The ultimate goal is to stop this happening, our goal is not to come out here and try to put people in jail nonstop," Pendley said.
Illegal dumping has consistently been a problem. The Constable has even put out videos about it.
"We're not going to let a felony slide or anything like that, if it's something small, if it's a citation type event, if we can get it taken care of, then we can work with that," Pendley said.
Usually, they want people to clean it up, take it to the dump, and have a receipt of the estimated weight.
"It's a big problem, and we're here to fight it," Smith said.