COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Piles of garbage were blocking Tim Higgins’ Hopkins driveway after someone dumped the items there last week.
Higgins says he called the Richland County ombudsman’s office to report the incident, and the person he spoke with said they’d send someone out to investigate. That hasn’t happened.
“That was Monday a week ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing from anybody,” homeowner Tim Higgins said. “You can see something for the most part, like an old pool and deck. I’m not going to open them to see what they are. There could be just about anything in that trash.”
County officials say the proper protocol to follow if you’re a victim of illegal dumping is to: call the ombudsman’s office and report it.
They say it is the responsibility of the property owner to move the garbage to the right-of-way for trash pickup. Higgins’ says, just he doesn’t think that’s right.
“They should send somebody out to move it,” Higgins. “I physically can’t. My wife physically can’t. We have no resources as far as to pay anybody to move it. To me, not only is that unfair that we’d have to out of pocket that, but there’s no response from the county to help us move it. It’s just like ‘Sorry!’”
After seven days in the rain and South Carolina heat, Higgins is wondering what evidence may have already been destroyed while he waited for a response from the county. At this point, he’s just wondering who can help.
“Just do what we pay you for,” Higgins said. “That’s the frustrating part, just do what we pay you for. And to people that feel the need to dump the trash, take two more extra steps.”
County officials say the staff responsible for cleaning up illegal dump sites has been very busy, and that the process from the initial call to removal can take seven to ten days. We’ve reached out to the county to find out exactly how many citations they’ve issued for the perpetrators of illegal dumping.