There’s a lot of trash in Hobbs.
While talking about Saturday’s District 2 clean-up event, a discussion formed about the dirty problem at the end of Monday’s Hobbs City Commission meeting.
District 2 represents the northeastern area of Hobbs from Sanger to the northeast bypass and east of Dal Paso. However while talking about this cleanup event Acting City Manager Manny Gomez got on the subject of the illegal dumping of large on .
“I can’t over emphasize that we have convenience centers,” Gomez said. “We have landfills that are open in numerous hours and I ask our community and our citizens to be part of the solution and no increase and effect the problem.”
It is a subject Gomez said city staff is concerned with and are looking at solutions. That didn’t stop District 2 commissioner Chris Mills from speaking on the topic. He talked about some recent trips he took with parks and rec- personnel through some of the city’s open places. One of which was behind the Hobbs softball/baseball complex on east Bender.
“There are literally … hundreds of truck tires up and down these roads,” Mills said. “There’s got to be some sort of responsiblity on people dumping tires. I noticed that someone had thrown tires in the stormwater runoff diversion area on north Jefferson the other day. Just some random tires in there. I don’t know if it is a policy reason that the dump ground — I think it was mentioned earlier — the dump doesn’t like solid waste guys hauling their waste out there. Apparently they don’t like tires either. At some point there’s got to be some give and take on these tires that people are just really dumping.”
Mills said he doesn’t believe the laws the commission makes will “magically fix things.” He said one solution is peer pressure. However he did point to the local oil and gas industry as possibilty being the culprits for the illegal dumping. His reasoning is the size of the dumped tires are from the large commercial vehicles normally used in the industry.
“All the tires out there behind the complex are like dump truck tires and trailer tires,” Mills said. “You know, huge truck tires. Some company is doing that and I don’t know if it is the employees who are doing it or the owner, but that is sort of shameful that they would do that to our community and cause us to spend tens of thousands of dollars to go out and pick that stuff up. That’s sort of ridiculous.”
District 3 commissioner Larron Fields piggybacked on what Mills said, first commending the city’s code enforcement department for working with property owners of 25 locations previously cited for condemnation. Each of the properties were either demolished or renovated, therefore, rendering the properties within compliance of city code.
“We need to look into really cleaning up our city,” Fields said. “It’s a shame about how Commissioner Mills mentioned there are some of these trucking companies where individuals are throwing tires everywhere.”
Where Mills mentioned land behind the baseball/softball complex, Fields talked about seeing such tires in the neighborhoods within his district, which mostly encompasses southeastern Hobbs mostly from Sanger south and Dal Paso to the east.
“It’s very frustrating to drive down through a neighborhood and you see tires,” Fields said. “but not only that, you see 18-wheelers and tanker trucks and they are over on other people’s property. I’m really big on holding people to accountability. If I have to be held accountable I believe others should be held accountable, like those property owners. We really need to look into that more.”
District 6 commissioner Don Gerth suggested a tip line where people can call in illegal dumping activity. He also said maybe a reward system can be established for people who take photos from their smart phones that include a license plate number of the vehicle illegally dumping or something criminal.
“To me dumping tires is criminal,” Gerth said. “Maybe we do need some eye-spy people driving around with their phones ready, taking snap shots of license tags. This has been a problem. I’m about to be here six years now and this has been a pet peeve of mine, of the tires getting dumped back and forth.”
District 5 commissioner Dwayne Penick focused his trash talk to another topic, one that involves Saturday’s District 2 clean up, plastic bags. Penick said he is revisiting the idea of creating a city ordinance of banning plastic bags.
“We had talked about it several years ago and it may not be a popular issue with a lot of people on banning plastic bags in the city of Hobbs,” Penick said. “If you look around our trees are full of them. Our bushes are full of them. Our fences are full of them. Sometimes we have to give up something that makes things more convenient for carrying your stuff out (of a store) to love and care for a place that you live. I, for one, feel like I live in a landfill.”
Before talking about the tires, Mills said plastic bags are scattered throughout the east Bender area, which is one of the reasons for Saturday’s trash pick-up event. He said it doesn’t look good to have such items throughout the area that also serves as a gateway to the city.
“People coming in from Texas, it’s one of the first areas they see,” Mills said. “It really reflects poorly on your city when they see six million trash sacks hanging on mesquite trees out there.”
Penick said he can’t enjoy where he lives when the responsibliity for handling someone’s trash is forcibly given to someone else.
“You go to other places, like in Florida and Texas, and it is so well kept,” Penick said. “It’s just sad that we have people who don’t care where they live and they just throw their junk for other people’s responsiblity to pick it up. I think it is time we do something about it.”
Saturday’s trash pick-up is scheduled for 8 a.m. at the intersection of East Bender and Ranchland Drive. There will be a tent for participants to meet and get instructions and supplies.