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Dumping Trash On Public Land Could Lead To Fines, Jail Time

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A heaping pile of trash sits on the banks of the river near 131st and Sheridan - an area surrounded by high-dollar homes that overlook the water. A heaping pile of trash sits on the banks of the river near 131st and Sheridan - an area surrounded by high-dollar homes that overlook the water.
Game Warden Carlos Gomez said if it's your trash, even if you have paid someone else to take a landfill, if it's dumped on public land, you could still get the ticket. Game Warden Carlos Gomez said if it's your trash, even if you have paid someone else to take a landfill, if it's dumped on public land, you could still get the ticket.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

More and more people seem to be using public land as a dumping ground for their trash.

Game wardens say it's not only illegal, but it could also cost you money or jail time.

The Arkansas River is a scenic escape for some.

Game Warden Carlos Gomez said, “We saw seven or eight deer when we were coming down the cart path,”

It brings a little wilderness to some of the urban areas around Tulsa County.

“It's a beautiful river…when you're looking at a pile of trash, it's not a beautiful river,” said Gomez.

Right now, a heaping pile of trash sits on the banks of the river near 131st and Sheridan - an area surrounded by high-dollar homes that overlook the water.

Gomez said, “Now why does a person build a million dollar home on a hill looking at this location? It's not to see that,”

The game warden said a local tipped him off that the river bed had been used as a public dumping ground. Gomez said the trash belonged to a man who had hired someone to haul it to a landfill.

Instead, that person dumped it there - many items marked with personal information.

“The paid person took that dump fee money, put it in his pocket as a bonus tip, I suppose, and left his trash and belongings here,” he said.

Gomez said if it's your trash, even if you have paid someone else to take a landfill, if it's dumped on public land, you could still get the ticket. Gomez said the citations range from $300 to $1,000, or even jail time.

But, game wardens are willing to work with folks.

In this case, the man who dumped the trash agreed to clean up his mess and take to a landfill, but was still given a $300 ticket. The man who hired him to get rid of the trash is off the hook.

“I always strive for good endings. I like a good ending,” Gomez said.

But most don't end that way.

Each year, state and county workers spend hundreds of hours picking up trash people have dumped on public land. It’s a problem Gomez said needs to stop.

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