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Charlotte County warns about illegal dumping of debris from Ian

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Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
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special to WGCU
Charlotte County is warning against illegal dumping of Hurricane Ian debris. The county's solid waste supervisor said he suspects out-of-state companies are dumping materials at various spots around Charlotte, rather than taking debris to the county landfill. The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office found the above illegal dump site, one of several reported, in northwest Port Charlotte.

Charlotte County is warning against illegal dumping of hurricane debris and is investigating several reports of that activity -- mostly contractors disposing of material from businesses.

Charlotte County Solid Waste says it suspects out-of-state contractors may be dumping debris, rather than hauling it to the county landfill and paying disposal fees.

"We've had several reports of illegal dumping," Charlotte Solid Waste Supervisor Lorenzo Daetz said. He added that a Charlotte County Sheriff's Office deputy was on the road Friday morning, checking out a couple of locations of suspected illegal dumping.

Daetz said the problem is that trash dumped in ditches or swales can back up the flow of water and cause drainage problems, as well as create spots for mosquitos to breed.

Daetz said his department is working with a contractor suspected of dumping illegally in the Deep Creek community.

"So we reached out to them, and explained the deal, and hopefully they're going to come back and pick it up," Daetz said.

If the company doesn't do so, he added, the county can arrest company officials and charge them with felony crimes. He said Charlotte made 32 arrests last year for illegal dumping, and those cases were not hurricane-related.

Lee County would not confirm any reports of suspected illegal dumping. Lee is emphasizing that people separate building materials from vegetation, and put it all curbside. Contractors are expected to take Ian debris to a permitted site, and not just dump it.

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Forty-one-year veteran of television news in markets around the country, including more than 18 years as an anchor and reporter at WINK-TV in southwest Florida.