One Man’s Trash Becomes The City’s Headache

SPOKANE — City crews are working five days a week to keep Spokane from becoming a giant dump and that’s not an understatement. Every week they remove up to 10 tons of trash from illegal dumpsites across the city.

City crews think that the rise in illegal dumpsites has a direct correlation in rising gas prices. Crews say people think it’s cheaper to dump their trash some place in the city than to drive to a city transfer center and then pay to have the city take it off their hands.

That’s the problem that Veniamin Gorkovchnko faced when someone decided to dump a boatload of trash – literally – in front of his home.

“They just decided to get rid of it and they got rid of it this kind of way and it ended up in front of my house here,” Gorkovchnko said.

The problem is that Gorkovchnko has been trying to sell his home on Wiscom Road in northeast Spokane and seeing an old fishing boat full of trash right out in front wasn’t exactly appealing to future buyers.

“I was gonna haul it away myself but then you know the city got to it,” he said.

City of Spokane Litter Control says they have seen an increase in illegal dumping; in fact it’s a big enough problem to keep city crews busy five days a week looking for and then removing abandoned piles of trash.

“We pick up on an average anywhere from five to ten tons a week of illegal dumps,” Jim Kreitz with City of Spokane Litter Control said.

Kreitz has been doing cleaning up illegal dumps for the city for seven years and says that people will leave anything on the side of the road.

“Construction debris, tires, yards waste, refrigerators, lots of appliance just typical garbage,” Kreitz said.

And they also clean up old fishing boats, like the one found in front of Gorkovchnko’s home, but for now, thanks to Litter Control, the trash on Wiscom Road is gone and not a moment too soon.

“I got people coming out tomorrow so they came at the right time,” Gorkovchnko said.

In all it cost the city about $500 to clean up the trash in front of Gorkovchnko’s home.

The fine for dumping in the city of Spokane is more than $500 and it’s $1,000 in the county.