Trash Piles in Portales Causing Debate

There are front yards covered in trash, road sides littered with debris and overgrown weeds are everywhere.

Some Roosevelt County residents say they have had enough and cannot live like this any longer.

The situation prompted 170 residents to sign a petition, asking the county commission to make people responsible for cleaning up their yards.

Linda Giddings says "It will be blowing all over the streets, into people's yards, into town." Even the County Sheriff, Darren Hooker, admits it's a problem. "There are trash bags, what you would see coming out a kitchen sink, all the way up to refrigerators, couches, dead animals."

After watching this trash escalate, Giddings has had all she can take. "It's infested in rodents. It's a health hazard, safety hazard, fire hazard."

The county government says they are trying to take care of the problem. Sheriff Hooker says, "When we get those calls we will respond to them and see if we can find something within that trash that maybe will lead us to who dumped it there. And if so then we can go cite them and potentially have them go clean it up."

But finding those people is sometimes a problem in and of itself. "We've gotta have that crucial piece of evidence that says this is Mary Jane's letter or her bill, whatever the case may be. But even then it's hard to find those people, track them down."

County residents have another option besides dropping their trash off here-they can drop it off at receptacles in the city, and it doesn't cost a dime.

The County Commission denied Linda's petition, saying that kind of law would be un-enforceable. But Linda and her supporters say it's far from over. They will keep trying and do whatever it takes to get rid of all of that trash.