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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Compliance > Land Compliance > Confined Feeding Operations Compliance > Open Dump in Johnson County Cleaned Up Open Dump in Johnson County Cleaned Up

December 2006

IDEM collaborates with private and public entities to clean up open dump in Johnson County

Partial view of open dump before clean up. Partial view of open dump before clean up. Partial view of open dump before clean up.

The Indiana Department Environmental Management facilitated and oversaw the cleanup of an open dump near the Blue River north of Edinburgh, Johnson County.

In 2004, Tim Hotz, an IDEM Agricultural and Solid Waste Compliance Inspector was notified about an open dump. He investigated and found railroad ties, household trash, junk vehicles, construction/demolition waste, waste tires and thousands of pallets spread over 40 acres at a former recreation area.

Several fires occurred at the site, which consumed large quantities of pallets and railroad ties and destroyed three cabins.

Although IDEM’s inspector was unable to locate the source of solid waste dumped at the site, he did identify and then inform the property owners about their responsibility to clean up the open dump. It was determined there were limited financial resources to conduct a cleanup.

Due to Republic Services of Indiana’s previous experience to successfully clean up open dumps under IDEM’s oversight, Tim Hotz and Janet Arnold, also of the agency contacted Kenny Depass and Steve Clark of the company about handling a similar cleanup at the open dump in Edinburgh. They agreed to undertake the cleanup as a gratis community service.

Cleanup actions included grinding up pallets and hauling household trash, waste tires and burned debris to a state permitted landfill for proper disposal. Approximately 109 tons of solid waste and 2.3 tons of waste tires were collected and disposed of during the cleanup. Junk vehicles and other scrap metal were taken to a salvage yard. Edinburgh Fire Department Chief, Allen Smith, provided firefighters to conduct a controlled burn of the abandoned structures at the site. The Town of Edinburgh and Atterbury Correctional Facility also assisted with the cleanup.

Under Tim Hotz’s oversight, the cleanup was completed to IDEM’s satisfaction in December 2006.

This cleanup spotlights the cooperative efforts among a business and public agencies to work as a team to clean up an open dump and solve environmental concerns in a community. IDEM welcomes similar participation by other businesses and agencies.

IDEM works with federal, state and local agencies and businesses to facilitate the proper disposal of solid waste in Indiana. Open dumps and waste tires stored outdoors make an ideal breeding site for disease-carrying mosquitoes, other insects and rodents. Fires at these sites often are dangerous, difficult to extinguish and can cause a substantial amount of air pollution, which may contaminate nearby land and water.

Tim Hotz
(317) 308-3054
thotz at

Charles Grady
Section Chief
(317) 232-7201
cgrady at