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County floats new rules that crack down on illegal dumping

New rules, effective in January, to protect land managed by King County Parks from illegal dumping would mean fines of up to $500 for those caught trashing public property.

“People have told us that illegal dumping in our parks is a problem, and we have heard them loud and clear,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Work to clean up illegal dumpsites takes time, money, and staff resources, which we would rather spend elsewhere.”

While King County has installed a significant amount of “no dumping” signs, plus gates and fencing to discourage illegal dumping on Parks land, the issue remains among the most-frequent citizen complaints.

The parks division is seeking public comments on its proposed rules, under which people found responsible for dumping can receive a fine of $100 for an initial violation, and up to $500 for repeat violators. Penalties could also include restitution payments, which would go to King County Parks to help defray costs of cleaning up illegal dumpsites.

A copy of the proposed rules can be found on the Parks website, http://www.kingcounty.gov/parks; click on “Public Notices,” then “Illegal Dumping Rule.” Any interested person can submit written comments concerning the proposed rules.  Comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 23. Send comments to Kathy.nygard@kingcounty.gov.

King County Parks staff regularly find and clean up everything from household and commercial garbage, to auto parts and tires, household appliances, construction waste and more. Even dumped yard waste requires clean up, as noxious weed and non-native vegetation can infest parks lands and can require intensive management.

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