Williamson Co. Precinct 4 Constable warns of illegal dumping

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - The Williamson County Precinct 4 Constable is warning people about illegal dumping.

In a recent Facebook video, Constable Paul Leal calls out the suspect in one case.

"Weren't very smart about it. You left a letter that looks like the Travis County Jail may have mailed you," he said.

Leal says they've reached out to the suspect and are working through the case.

Investigators weigh trash to figure out what level of offense it is.

The person who dumps has the option to clean it up, take it to the landfill and get a receipt, and the charge can be lowered to a class C misdemeanor, and they'll pay a fine. If it happens again, it could mean jail time.

"We put people in jail for it all the time. I always tell people, if you dump on us in Williamson County Precinct 4 we're going to do everything we can to find out who you are. If you don't come clean it up and take it to the landfill and provide us with proof, we're going to put you in jail for it," Leal said.

In 2020, the Constable's Office started the "You Dumped It, You Clean It" program to save taxpayer dollars.

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Leal says in 2019, they had almost 600 tons of roadside dumps in the precinct, and they've been able to get that down to about 200 tons.

The office is still busy, with about 70 of these types of environmental cases a month.

Leal says illegal dumping can affect farmers, especially if livestock gets into trash or if trash gets caught in a combine.

"I have four deputies that do this full time, and they're buried in trash," he said. "With the growth in the area, with all the commercial construction that's happening, it's picked up."

They're also working through a case where a Coupland property owner caught a suspect on camera.

The Constable's Office has about 70 of their own cameras throughout the precinct.

"Our closure rate went through the roof because we're like, okay, we don't have to get them throwing it out of the truck. We just got to get them coming in loaded and leaving empty," Leal said.

If you come across a dump site, let the Constable's Office know.