KEARNEY — The city of Kearney wants people to know park trash containers are not for people’s personal dumping use. Illegal dumping, Parks and Recreation Director Eric Marshall said, has been an ongoing issue in all city parks. As a result, the city posted stickers on park trash bins and dumpsters. The city is also prosecuting violators.
“It’s been a major problem,” said Marshall. “... It’s Kearney people and out-of-town people. We’ve seen household trash and business trash. We’ve been finding all kinds of things. It’s in all the parks, Lions Park, Jesse James Park and Mack Porter. We’re finding anything and everything all year long. They’ve even been putting stuff outside the dumpsters that were too heavy to go in them.”
City staff, Marshall said, have recovered office furniture, hazardous materials and mattresses in addition to loads of trash.
“We’re fed up with it,” he said.
City Attorney Brian Hall said the city caught some people and plan to prosecute anyone caught violating the city code that outlaws public dumping. Punishment for violators includes a fine up to $500.
“People need to understand that those bins are not for household trash,” he said. “We will be prosecuting.”
Marshall said the city is also installing security cameras to help deter dumping and catch violators in the act.
“The trash containers are for park trash, for the people using the parks. We want people to use them for that and for throwing out waste bags after people pick up after their pets. That’s what they are there for, not people’s personal trash,” said the parks director.