|The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) charged two Hartwick residents on May 14 for unlawfully disposing of solid waste in Otsego County, DEC announced today.
The investigation was sparked when an illegal garbage pile was found in the town of New Lisbon. DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) investigated the incident, digging through the garbage and locating a piece of paper with an address attached.
When ECO Timothy Card visited the address and interviewed the resident, he learned that a garbage removal service had recently completed a job at the home. ECO Card obtained a copy of the garbage removal agreement and learned that two defendants had been advertising the service on Facebook.
"DEC will continue to vigorously enforce its solid waste rules and regulations to protect our natural resources and the public from illegal dumping like this," said Region 4 Director Keith Goertz. "Thanks to the persistent detective work by ECO Timothy Card, we were able to track down those responsible for this senseless act and bring them to justice."
ECO Card then interviewed the pair listed on the agreement and obtained an admission of guilt from the two subjects, who also revealed two additional trash dumping locations. In all, a total of five pickup-truck loads of trash were discovered.
Town of Hartwick residents Devan Hazen, 19, and Tara Baker, 20, were both ticketed with misdemeanor charges of unlawful disposal of more than ten cubic yards of solid waste.
Each charge carries a potential penalty of up to $22,500 and/or up to three months in jail. In addition to any fine imposed, the pair will be required to clean up all the waste and dispose of it at a permitted solid waste disposal facility.
The pair are due in New Lisbon Town Court on May 31 to answer to the charges.