Green River Star -


Desert dumping is a depressing act


While driving along the Wild Horse Loop Tour recently, I saw something that instantly made my blood boil.

A car was left abandoned at the side of the road, near 14-Mile Hill. It’s windows were shattered by the stones I found inside the vehicle. It’s tires were flattened and oddly enough, a county 19 license plate was still attached. An impound sticker was on a portion of the back window, but was so weathered and faded it was impossible to read -- whatever was written on it had long since vanished.

Anyone who ventures along the dirt roads and two-track trails in Sweetwater County has seen trash piles lazily left to rot in the desert sun. Couches, appliances and entire vehicles aren’t unusual sights in the desert. It doesn’t take long for those objects to attract bullet holes and other signs of abuse -- sometimes from the same people who dropped them off in the first place.

Why is that? Is it due to the imagined cost of taking something to the landfill. Is it laziness? This isn’t an isolated issued, it’s something widely seen throughout the county. For all the outdoor recreation groups like Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism and the cities’ chambers of commerce promote, it comes across as a tremendous eyesore for anyone wanting to view the wild horse or some of the otherwise breathtaking scenery we have in our backyard.

The county’s land use department used to host annual cleanup days to help mitigate dump sites throughout the desert. These efforts would yield several tons of refuse and feature a wide-ranging spectrum of various items.

The county also used to host a bound program where residents could earn a reward for reporting someone dumping their trash on county lands.

Both the cleanups and bounty program ended years ago, but we shouldn’t rely on county to take care of the problem.

As Green River gears up for its annual City-Wide Cleanup week, perhaps we should pay attention to the lands outside city limits and pick up the garbage carelessly left by people who seemingly can’t be bothered to get rid of it any other way.

It would go a long way in helping promote the beautiful vistas and outdoor opportunities we take for granted.


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