Illegal dumping in Kuna desert continues to be a major problem

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 19:30:14-04

Illegal dumping in and around the desert landscape has plagued the south Kuna area for some time; and as the trash continues to increase, city leaders are dealing with the problem head on. 

"If you're going to take trash out there, people here are going to take notice," said Joe Stear, Mayor of the City of Kuna. 

Stear took to social media to call out potential "desert dumpers." In a post, now viral on Facebook, Stear shared his encounter with two would-be dumpers on Sunday, July 2. 

"Dumping trash out there, that's probably one of the most commonly talked about things in the City of Kuna and people are, frankly, tired of it."

With help from the Kuna Police Department, the potential dumpers were diverted; but as mattresses and other trash litter the Kuna desert -- a warning tonight for those thinking of adding to the pile.

Officials say the Kuna desert is no place for unwanted items, and those caught "desert dumping" could face hundreds of dollars in fines and even jail time. And with various access points, police say many view the Kuna desert as an ideal place to dump.

"It's not Kuna people necessarily," said Sgt. Tom Briggs with the Kuna Police Department. "It's people from all over the valley, driving out somewhere onto the desert to get  rid of stuff, as opposed to just taking it to the landfill." 

Kuna Police are patrolling as much of the area as they can, hoping to curb the littering and preserve the desert. 

"People use the desert out here for a lot of different, recreational things," Briggs said. "Good stuff, meaningful stuff, stuff that's perfectly legal. But when they go out there, they don't want to see someone's trash piled up because they were too lazy to get rid of it properly."