(NEXSTAR) – An Ohio garbage hauler could wind up behind bars after he admitted to illegally dumping trash into a makeshift landfill on his own property for years.
Donald W. Combs, 52, of Milford, pleaded guilty this week to eight felonies, including three counts of illegal open dumping of solid waste, two counts of illegal operation of a solid waste facility without a license, two counts of violating Ohio EPA director of environmental protection orders and one count of illegal open burning of solid wastes.
“This garbage man drove off with your trash, but was never headed to a landfill,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a news release. “Actions have consequences and he will now have to pay for the mess he made.”
Combs, who authorities called a “mass polluter,” is accused of dumping thousands of pounds of waste he hauled over a four year period. The DA’s office said he would respond to Craigslist ads posted by people needing their waste taken away, and would then undercut legitimate businesses that pay fees to dump at licensed landfills.
He would then allegedly dump the refuse on his own commercial property, as well as on an undeveloped residential lot next to his home. Some of the piles of garbage, which contained debris from construction and demolition sites, were more than 20 feet high. Firefighters responded on at least one occasion to extinguish a garbage fire before it could spread to homes next door.
The estimated cleanup cost for both sites is nearly $1.3 million.
Combs is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on May 27.