To the editor:
I ride my horse on and around East Gilman Road in Lansing. Horseback riding in the country is the most wonderful experience ever, a vacation every day. After working in a basement office all day, I am one of the lucky few who can escape to a place where I can view from horseback several hundred beautiful acres of terraced farmland and woodlands.
Imagine if you will: the relaxing, rocking motion of the horse walking along. Fresh breezes, warm sun, and a broad expanse of blue sky overhead. Colorful birds flutter in the trees as the horse passes. As the horse climbs an incline on the dirt back road, you take a deep breath. Nothing could be more perfect than this moment. As the horse reaches the top, you expect to see more rolling hills, a rabbit, or perhaps white tails bounding into the trees.
Now imagine how I felt last weekend when I glanced to my left toward the entrance to a corn field and saw instead an old smashed big screen TV. In the drainage ditch to my right was a tarp filled with broken glass, a mattress and box springs, and a deer carcass, presumably discarded by poachers. I felt angry, disgusted, and violated.
People who would do such a thing (dump illegally) show a level of selfishness and irresponsibility that is impossible for me to even fathom. There is absolutely NO excuse for this illegal dumping, especially since the Leavenworth County Transfer Station is less than a mile away!
Of course I was angry somewhat because these selfish people had ruined my "vacation" and because the strange items unnerved my horse.
Primarily, however, I was angry that such a beautiful, natural area had been violated, and I was angry on behalf of the land owner who is trying to make a living with that cropland. Now, in addition to the normal costs of the agricultural business, the land owner has to incur more hassle and expense to remove the discarded items so that crops can be planted in spring and the drainage areas will function properly.
The people who illegally dump in this area know very well that such vast expanses of acreage cannot be guarded constantly. They drive their trucks right past the posted sign that states, "Illegal dumping is a crime!" In their view, by dumping their unwanted items here instead of at the transfer station, they are saving large amounts of money in dump fees! In reality, however, the cost of dumping at the transfer station is minimal, about $10 a tarped trailer load. My husband and I have taken many huge loads to the transfer station over the years and have only been charged a nominal fee. It would be worth a $10 donation from me to have waste disposed of properly, but I know that just about anyone can come up with $10 if they really want to.
Page 2 of 2 - I have yet to catch anyone in the act of illegal dumping, but if I ever do, cell phone cameras are a wonderful invention, and I have no reservations whatsoever about contacting local law enforcement.