Illegal dump sites are a notorious and messy problem across our region; some residents in Hawkins County are fed up with litterbugs.
Tires, toilets, and trash -- together it makes one big pile of garbage along Union Hollow Road. Nearby residents told News 5 it is almost always around.
"It'll start out with just one little piece or two little pieces and boom. You've got all this right here," said Anna Harris, a nearby resident of the illegal dump site.
A concerned citizen, who didn't want to give us his name, stopped us to tell us, "I think it'd look nice up here you know. It's kind of woodsy if they didn't make a dump out of it. People live through here and everything, and it just makes everything look bad."
Harris told News 5 people have been dumping trash, even animal carcasses and furniture, in this spot for about 15 years.
"Of course you have the concern of fire. You have the concern of drawing wild animals, and we do have a creek that's nearby that could get contaminated," said Harris.
We found tires collecting stagnant water, even toys that present yet another problem.
"If a kid gets involved in it, rummages through trash, gets a hold of something he's not supposed to, he can attract diseases, get ill or get injuries," said John Pruitt, a Hawkins County detective.
We found out, just about two miles away you can dump your trash legally and for free at a Hawkins County Convenience Center.
Pruitt told us illegal dumps are common all across the region, but many times they don't get reported. When they are reported, Pruitt said many times "fly-by-night" trash services are the culprits.
"If we get a report on it, find it, and your mail is in there, and it can be identified back, of course that person's charged for it, and they don't even know anything about it," Pruitt explained.
For Anna Harris, she knows more about trash than she ever wanted to. She cleans the dump site about twice-a-year herself. But after years of disgust, she said enough is enough.
"They need to have some laws that have some teeth in it to get people to stop doing this," Harris said. "There needs to be some reasonable way of keeping things clean."
We asked detectives and found out you could get fined up to $500 for dumping trash illegally. In extreme cases, you could be put on probation for almost one year.