Like a magnet attracts iron, three donation units on Kings Ranch Road in Gold Canyon seem to attract dumpers.

“No Dumping” and “No Littering” signs are prominently displayed on the donation boxes owned by Sunshine Acres and Childhood Disease Research Foundation, but these signs, along with warnings of legal prosecution are ignored.

Efforts by Sunshine Acres and local residents to pick up after the trash-burdened scofflaws are becoming too much to bear. “I make occasional trips to the Apache Junction landfill and would swing by the donation boxes to pick up what I could take, but it’s getting ridiculous,” said resident John Amato in a phone call to The News.

A box spring and mattress, dressers, stuffed chair, coffee table and a desk were seen littering the location when The News made three random trips to the location last week. There were different items each trip, indicating that as one set of discards were picked up, others would take their place.

Until very recently, the property where the donation boxes are located did not have an owner listed on the Pinal County parcel map. The new owner may be interested in having the charities relocate the boxes to a location with better lighting, perhaps adding a deterrent to the dumping. Those who are dumping in the area may be unaware of the Pinal County Sheriffs (PCSO) substation across the street, or just don’t care.

Depending on the weight of the items illegally dumped, a violator could be charged with a felony or class 1 or 2 misdemeanor. Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) defines illegal dumping as: “Disposal of solid wastes at any location that has not been approved by an authorized agency. (A.R.S. § 9-499, § 11-268, and § 13-1603).”

If you see someone illegally dumping, ADEQ encourages you to not endanger your safety by approaching the violator. Call the PCSO non-emergency dispatch instead (520-866-5111) with the date, time and location of incident; description of vehicle and license plate number; description of person(s) dumping; what items/materials were being dumped; and (optional) your name and phone number. There is also a way to file a complaint online by visiting https://legacy.azdeq.gov/function/compliance/complaint.html.

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