Lake Henry trash

An old armchair sits abandoned near Lake Henry with mud and other trash.

Piles of junk and trash, including old clothes, tattered furniture and broken toilets, are plaguing some beautiful scenery near Lake Henry.

On either side of County Road 539, just off U.S. 49 west of Greenwood, illegal dumping has become a serious problem. 

Not only is there extensive littering, with beer bottles, fast food cups and bags, chip bags and other trash scattered on both sides of the road, but there are also large pieces of waste cluttering up the landscape.

“I started noticing over the last couple of months that there was trash dumped, and then all of a sudden there was another pile,” said Trent Harrison, who lives near the dumping site. “And in two or three months, you see another pile.”

Harrison said that the dumping hasn’t affected his life but is frustrating to witness.

“You just see things that should really be disposed at the landfill, and it’s a disgrace to the taxpayers and residents to dump household garbage,” he said.

CR 539 trash

A lone tire floats in water built up along the sides of County Road 539.

The site where the garbage was found is in Leflore County’s District 3. That district’s supervisor, Anjuan Brown, says that he is aware of the problem and has taken action to remedy it. 

“My unit came out and piled (the trash) up and called the people with the county to pick it up,” Brown said.

Don Toomey, another concerned resident, is the farm manager for Colin Reed, who owns most of the south side of CR 539 where part of the dumping is.

Toomey said that he and other residents have talked about taking matters into their own hands.

“We haven’t been able to catch them, and we wanted to put out a camera,  but someone will probably steal it,” Toomey said. “It’s too late to catch someone who did it unless they do it again.”

Harrison also said he has been in touch with Brown about the dumping.

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CR 539 trash

A shattered toilet lies abandoned on the side of CR 539.

Brown said there are measures in place aimed at preventing this problem. “We do have a code enforcement officer that goes out and tries to curtail this type of thing and tries to make sure this doesn’t happen,” he said. “And if it does happen, they try to go out to find the people responsible, and if they do find them, they prosecute them.”

Brown added that it is difficult to bring people in for this crime, because they must be caught in the act, and that doesn’t always happen.

Toomey also said that he and other residents are willing to work with the county on the issue.

“Anything we can do to help, we’d be glad to participate in. We certainly want to try to catch them if we can get a concerted effort,” he said.

Brown also said that there hasn’t been an extensive problem in his district, but that, unfortunately, no county is exempt from illegal dumping.

“We are just going to continue to do what we can to prevent this from happening,” Brown said.

Contact Kerrigan Herret at 581-7233 or kherret@gwcommonwealth.com.

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