BEMIDJI -- A white pickup stops in the middle of the camera’s view, and a woman in gray pops open the tailgate and roughly tosses trash bags, then trash cans and window blinds, into a heap on the ground. She empties the cans and tosses one back into the truck bed before hopping in the passenger seat.
A little girl and a man get in, and the truck pulls out of view, American flag fluttering.
That footage, according to a widely viewed Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post on Tuesday, is an example of how not to use the dump.
“Let this video serve as an example that Beltrami County will investigate the misuse and property damage at county owned, maintained and provided facilities,” the post read. “This type of behavior is an inconvenience to us all.”
The video had 48,000 views and had been shared nearly 600 times just more than 24 hours after sheriff’s office staff posted it.
Sheriff’s office staff updated their post to say that the people in the video had been identified.
People misuse waste sites like the one in the video, which is in Pinewood, on almost a daily basis, said Brian Olson, the county’s solid waste manager and public works safety coordinator.
Beltrami County produces about 30,000 tons of solid waste every year, and has seven sites set up for its disposal, but only two of them -- one on Industrial Drive on the south end of Bemidji and another in Blackduck -- can accommodate anything beyond recycling and household trash.
People often improperly dump paint, furniture, appliances, electronics, and demolition debris at the remaining sites, which costs money to dispose of properly and can damage county equipment or the environment, Olson said.
Each site has several signs that explain what is and isn’t OK to dispose of there.
Olson showed the footage, which was recorded around 10:30 p.m. on June 23, to a committee of county administrators and commissioners, he said, who decided to hand it over to the sheriff’s office to post on their Facebook page.
Other than the window blinds, the three people in the video got rid of waste that the Pinewood site can handle, Olson said, but dumping it into a pile on the ground, rather than in a nearby compactor, isn’t allowed.
“Someone’s gotta pick it up,” Olson said.