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Illegal Dumping Attracts Police Attention

Illegally dumped landscaping debris has created unsightly mounds along a section of Georgetown Pike in McLean decried by residents as a blight. Local police officers are now monitoring the area between the Central Intelligence Agency and the playing fields to catch the perpetrators.

Residents find the increase in dumping especially troublesome because the area has been well-marked by the county with signs stating that dumping is illegal, yet the problem persists.

McLean Police Capt. Steve Smylie says the dumping “wasn’t on our radar screen, so we weren’t paying attention to it.” Police are now taking it very seriously and having patrol cars monitor the area.

Smylie believes it is not residents who have created the nuisance but concedes they may now be adding to the problem. “What’s going on there is yard debris. It’s not trash. Most likely it’s a situation where lowball contractors are looking to dump the material instead of paying the fee to dispose of it properly. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that homeowners were dumping there now as well,” said Smylie.

“Maybe no one wants to claim it because it’s near the CIA and they are afraid what they’ll find in there. Really, this is such a pretty area, it’s sad to see dumping. But at least its stuff that is degradable and not a pile of garbage,” said resident Karen Rice.

One of the first objectives for the county, according to Public Information Officer Amy Carlini, is to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation to clean up the rubbish on the site.

“You find that an area where dumping begins attracts more dumping. It becomes common practice for people to dispose of stuff in that site after a while,” Smylie said.

“Part of our problem-solving approach is to remove the attractive nuisance problem where folks are enticed to add their [trash] to the pile,” Smylie said.

The McLean Police are asking residents to take down information if they see anyone dumping. “Get the license plate number or any information that is on the truck and call our non-emergency number at 703-691-2131, and give us the information so we can track them down,” said Smylie.

Illegal dumping is a Class I misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,400 and potentially a year in jail.