[Christine Platt at the recently dumped wood debris. Photo: David Kramer 3/21/21 see Community in action, Part I: Sprucing up the Highland Crossing Trail] FULL SERIES AT END
As seen in Community in action, Part I: Sprucing up the Highland Crossing Trail, last Saturday Christine Platt organized a cleanup of the trail.
The second cleanup is next Saturday the 27th at 9:30 a.m. Parking available at Empire State College on 680 Westfall Road. Bring gloves. For any additional info, contact Christine at [email protected]
As seen in Exotic animals once lived next to the Highland Crossing Trail, during the cleanup, the long abandoned farmhouse where an old man once owned exotic animals — now littered with years of debris thrown over the dilapidated fence — drew much attention from our crew.
One aspect particularly intrigued me. About a week after the exotic animal story, I noticed a mound of freshly cut tree limbs. I also discovered another older pile further inside the property.
I had never before seen human activity at the site. I wondered if someone was making improvements of the property by pruning back trees. I returned the next day and the next; the pile was still there nor did I see any crews in the area. For me, the mound was a mini-mystery.By pure serendipity, at the cleanup I found the answer. Christine owns a landscaping company, JCD Maintenance, and offered her explanation of the tree debris — it is illegally dumped — as well as why such unethical behavior angers her. Christine writes:
I began learning the basics of landscape three years ago. During this time, I learned to respect land and make people’s yards beautiful. There is a certain way to do the job of brush and tree removal. There is proper way to fill a trailer with debris and dispose of it. Loading and unloading a trailer correctly is not as easy as it seems. How you load will most definitely be the deciding factor in how long it takes to remove the debris. Sure, you can just throw stuff on there, but you have to keep in mind, everything has to come off. You also have to schedule rides to the dump accordingly.
While cleaning up the trail last Saturday, it was quite obvious that the land that runs along the trail has been used as a dumping site for brush, trees, and, sadly, pressure treated wood from a broken down deck. The piles range from freshly cut to several years old. This adds more mess to this already bizarre piece of land.
While looking at each pile, I began to wonder what the scenario was and why the individual(s) chose to dump on this land. It seemed to be more work to back the trailer up and unload quickly then it would be to take the debris to the appropriate place. Someone would have had to be on the lookout. The dumping had to be done quite quickly due to the risk of police passing by or being called by a witness. I would think more than one person helped unload each pile. The one closest to the road seemed to be done by a professional based on the cuts I saw. The older piles had been pruned by a pruner and not cut with a chainsaw. The piles further back could have been the homeowner.
There is a proper way to dispose of brush and other debris. There are sites to bring brush, and most of the time, they have their own sets of rules to follow. For example, no pressure treated wood or leaves. Most towns have a dumping place and you can give your address and get permission to dump. Dumping on others property without permission is a big no no and can lead to legal consequences.
Dumping bothers me. It is disrespectful and can be potentially harmful to the environment. Depending on what is dumped, it can sit for many years causing harm to nature. A person or company that dumps illegal material on others land is not professional and lacks common sense. They are choosing their own convenience over everything. We are taught when we are little, not to leave our messes for someone else and to clean up after ourselves. The big question is, “who is going to clean it up?” Why should I put my burden on someone else?
THE HIGHLAND CROSSING SERIES
There is a mound of deck debris further back on the property. It is pressure treated painted wood and will sit for many years to come. It is sad to see piles of debris on what was once a man’s land where he made his livelihood and loved his animals.
I also found many odd and interesting artifacts. Old crates, farming chemicals, and empty bags of bird feed.