- An illegal dump site consisting of 499 tons has been cleared from Independent Lake Camp, which will not face civil penalties because it cooperated with regulators, state Department of Environment Protection spokeswoman Colleen Connolly confirmed.
The heap was discovered in early June after a fire and was cleaned up by July 25, Connolly said in an email Thursday.
One of the camp’s neighbors, a farmer, used an excavator to clean up the debris and put into dumpster containers.
Waste Management Inc. of Beach Lake hauled away the debris, totaling 498.7 tons, from the site.
The owners of the camp cooperated with DEP. Though they will not be fined, they had to pay Waste Management and the farmer for their assistance in the cleanup.
The cost could not be determined Thursday.
Jeff Gould, the camp's director, had no comment on the issue.
Connolly said the camp was willing to cooperate with DEP and remove the trash. She said the camp didn't want the trash heap to have a bad reflection on the camp.
"And it shouldn't," Connolly said, noting that many kids enjoy the camp in the summer months.
The spokeswoman added that DEP is satisfied with the resolution of the case.
The local farmer who helped in the cleanup said the trash included shampoo bottles, sneakers and discarded clothing.
A picture provided by DEP in June also showed household trash, tires, plastic chairs and other plastic items, bricks, wooden doors, cans and other waste in the huge pile.
The farmer, who lives near the camp and did not want to be identified, said he had been oblivious to the trash heap's existence but he's happy that it's gone.
The DEP issued a notice of violation to Independent Lake Camp in June after the discovery of a massive heap on the property.
The dump site, which consisted of about an acre, was discovered after it caught fire this week.
The camp, off Doyle Road, did not have a permit for the trash heap
The description of the violation stated camp owners Daniel and Anne Gould "dumped or deposited and burned solid waste on the surface of the ground without a permit from the Department and contrary to the Solid Waste Management Act and the Department's rules and regulations."
Northern Wayne Volunteer Fire Company responded to the fire and were on the scene from the afternoon until late at night.
Connolly said in her three years with the DEP she has seen construction or demolition sites as big as the trash heap, but not a garbage dump as big as the one found in northern Wayne County.