AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – Littering is not only an eyesore and bad for the environment, but it can also create problems for farmers.
Clay Trainum, of Autumn Olive Farms in the Waynesboro area, says he has to deal with the impacts of littering several times a year.
He’s had invasive plants grow on his trees, which have killed them.
“The other issue is bio-hazard stuff. People running meth houses, and they’re looking for places to dump their waste that doesn’t draw attention, and that’s incredibly dangerous,” Trainum said.
He adds that people have dumped animal carcass, attracting predators to his farm, which can be detrimental to his livestock.
“We raise food-grade products, so we’re trying to be very careful with our animals and livestock as well as the ground they’re on so it’s a real serious problem in Augusta County,” Trainum said.
A new law going into effect on July 1 will double the minimum fine for illegal dumping from $250 to $500, and the the maximum fine will be up to $2,500. Violators could also face up to a year in jail or 10 hours of community service.
Trainum says he’s had to spend a lot of his time picking up trash and dealing with the invasive plants that have grown on his property, and he says he’s glad to see that something more is being done to put a stop to illegal dumping.
“Some of us are serious about having people who come here. We have folks who come to our farm from all over the place, and we want to be a good reflection on our county,” Trainum said. “This is a beautiful area, and it requires some stewardship to maintain it that way, so we hope that people will be more serious about it.”
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