OCTOBER 2011
                                        

Charges filed for trash illegally dumped in Ohio

Charges have been filed in the illegal dumping of $316,000 worth of trash in the south end of Columbus, Ohio.

Richard Fintak of Richmond, Indiana has been indicted by the Franklin County Grand Jury on two counts of illegally operating a solid waste transfer station and one count of open dumping. The scene of the illegal trash transfer station is less than a quarter of a mile from a large apartment complex. It is estimated that 20,000 cubic yards of trash, construction and demolition debris, roofing, and other materials have been dumped at the site. Fintak was arrested in Indiana and has been returned to Columbus.

“Unlicensed trash haulers and the sites they use for illegal dumping can breed health hazards for nearby residents and workers,” said Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) executive director Ron Mills. “The fines, disposal fees, and clean-up costs, as well as the potential jail time could make this a much more expensive proposition for the individual compared to following the law.” It is estimated that it would cost $316,000 to clean up and dispose of the trash from the Stimmel Road site.

Fintak faces up to 4 years in jail and as much as $25,000 in fines on each count if he is convicted.

Defendants caught by SWACO’s Environmental Crimes Task Force of Central Ohio paid out $64,000 in fines and restitution in 2010. The 88 people convicted in Franklin County Environmental Court also spent a collective 10 years in jail. They spent 1,900 hours of service time cleaning up the messes they made.

Citizens of Franklin County have the power to “turn them in” when they see someone illegally dumping or littering. By calling or visiting www.itsacrime.org citizens can report environmental crimes.

The Environmental Crimes Task Force of Central Ohio is managed and funded by SWACO. It includes representatives of Franklin County Public Health, deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, a prosecutor from the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and an employee of the Columbus Public Service Department.