Between police brutality protests, Minneapolis City Council's calls to defund the police, and Trump's attempts to flip Minnesota in 2020, there’s been a lot of national media attention on the Twin Cities and the Iron Range this year.
In Minnesota news that (probably) won't make it to the New York Times, the Winona County Sheriff’s Department is sick and tired of you throwing your G-dang garbage on the side of the G-dang road.
“We’ve had a slight uptick in illegal dumping calls lately and we don’t like it,” a strongly worded post published on the department’s Facebook page last week began. “Did your parents not teach you basic rules for life?”
It goes on to say that calling the county recycling center or your garbage collector before you abandon an old mattress on somebody’s property isn’t that hard, and then goes full Spongebob sarcasm meme mode on us.
“’But tHaT cOsTs MoNeY'…. It’s a few extra bucks. It costs more for county hwy workers to pick your junk up from the side of the road.”
The post concludes with the scathing hashtags, #OhFerPetesSake, #JeezLouise, #FigureItOut, #StopRuiningNature, and #WhyWouldYouDoThat.
Here’s the post in its entirety.
We've had a slight uptick in illegal dumping calls lately and we don't like it. People are dumping mattresses, couches,...Posted by Winona County Sheriff's Office on Friday, September 25, 2020
It’s been shared a couple hundred times and has collected over 70 comments since Friday. A lot of folks agreed – they’re pretty “ticked off” and wish people would “take responsibility for [their] own shit.”
But there were a few dumping apologists out there who pointed out not everybody has “a couple bucks” to spare, and maybe people just don’t know who to call or where to go with their grandpa’s broken-ass recliner.
“Few extra bucks? People are being evicted because they lost jobs due to Covid and you’re saying it’s just a few bucks? Fuck all the way off, tonedeaf assholes,” one said.
Chief Deputy Jeff Mueller says the deputy who wrote the post was probably trying to “express the frustration” felt by residents who consistently find random detritus scattered around their parks and homes – or, sometimes, in the middle of the road. The sheriff’s department has found washers, dryers, refrigerators, chairs, appliances, and sometimes entire beds dumped this way.
And it is, technically, illegal – just as it’s illegal to flick your cigarette out your car window when you’re done with it. You can’t throw your trash wherever you want. And when deputies catch people doing it – sometimes on cameras hidden strategically on the roadside – they follow up.
It’s rare for one of the department’s Facebook posts to generate so much discussion. Comment sections usually peter out somewhere between single digits and a couple dozen remarks. Before things got heated in this illegal dumping post, one of the most popular posts this month was probably this warning about Winona County being “full of snakes,” which topped off at 30 comments.