Mountains of trash pile up in Collin County

COLLIN COUNTY, Texas – Detective Chuck Sibley of the Collin County Sheriff's Department sees parts of the county that many don't. 

"I put a lot of miles on the back roads of Collin County," he said.

His office is practically all 900 square miles that comprise Collin County. Sibley is a one-man operation as the Environmental Health Deputy for the Sheriff's Office. He tells WFAA that he was also the environmental compliance inspector for the Navy for a number of years.

"Every day somebody is going to dump something. You never know what you're gonna find around the next curve."

Sibley took WFAA on a tour of the worst trash dump sites in the county. One spot was in Princeton where a case is still pending.

"This is about as bad as it gets," said Sibley.

You will find trash of every kind on this three-quarter acre property. Surrounding burned out houses are mattresses, fence pieces, you name it.

Sibley says it was a dumping ground, also a place where materials were stripped for their value.

"They were selling meth off this property

The property is now owned by the county. The owners of the property were arrested and are facing charges. Sibley says the county is currently putting out bids to clean up the property at the taxpayer's expense. He says the clean-up could range between $40,000 to $60,000.

"People want to dispose of something but they don't want to spend the money at the landfill," he said.

Landfill fees are a fraction of what it costs to pay fines if caught offloading trash. With the recent surge in growth comes trash from subcontractors.

The detective took WFAA through windy back roads where fences, tree limbs and roofing shingles all line the sides of the roads.

Another part of Sibley's job is making sure people stay clear of the Corps of Engineer property near Lavon Lake.

"If you can stop the vehicle traffic you can stop a lot this dumping," he said.

The detective worked 360 cases last year and says fines for breaking environmental laws can vary depending on the type of pollution and how much. It can also range from misdemeanors to felonies.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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