Woman convicting in roadside dumping
A Haines woman was fined $300 and ordered to pay $280 restitution last week after 20 bags of household waste – including 400 pounds of food scraps – was dumped at a Lutak Road pullout in early June.
Workers cleaning up the trash found items linking the trash to Angela M. Smith.
“I wasn’t the one who dumped the trash, but it was my trash. I’m not going to fight it,” Smith told Haines magistrate John Hutchins. Bears and birds had gotten into the trash before it was removed, according to police.
Haines Police Chief Gary Lowe told the court the incident was “the most egregious case of littering” he’d ever seen here. “We’re fighting hard to discourage that,” he said.
In an interview this week, Smith said of the trash dumped, only one, small grocery bag was hers. “My boyfriend has a charge account at the dump. If we have 400 pounds of food scraps, that’s where it’s going to go. We’re responsible people. We’re not litterers.”
Magistrate Hutchins said the size of the penalty was intended to serve as a deterrent to those who might consider dumping trash, and he noted Smith could have been fined $1,000 under state law.
The trash was found on a pullout at 2.5 Mile, just north of a recently completed restroom and picnic area. Police said a truck with a description matching Smith’s was seen leaving the area.
The Haines Borough wrote a bear nuisance ordinance two years ago that penalizes residents for creating bear attractants. Roadside dumping also is a concern for some borough officials who fear that the escalating cost of disposal is increasing the frequency of such dumping.