Trails of trash lining Highway 56 from Sherman to Southmayd

SOUTHMAYD, Tex. (KXII) - From 1417 in Sherman all the way to Southmayd, trash borders Highway 56.

The mayor said it's been a problem since the landfill opened more than a decade ago, and people who live in town said they're fed up.

"There's so much plastic in the trees, it looks like a snowstorm," said Lynn Mitchusson, who owns property along the highway.

Mitchusson's farm is about halfway between the Sherman city limits and the Texoma Area Solid Waste Authority, the county's landfill.

He drives down Highway 56 every day.

A TxDOT spokesman said the trash comes from waste management and sanitation trucks headed to the landfill.

"The trash is just horrendous out there," Mitchusson said.

Southmayd Police said it also comes from construction workers and people just wanting to get rid of their trash.

"When they're traveling down the road, highway 56 is a little bumpy. It's knocking the trash out of the trailers," said Southmayd Police Chief Chad McKee.

McKee said there's a simple solution.

"If they covered their trailers properly, that would prevent spillage," McKee said.

Which could save you $146, the cost of the fine for failing to cover a trash load. A ticket McKee said they issue daily.

Southmayd Mayor Tom Byler said if you go to dump your trash without a covered load, the landfill charges an extra $20.

"But we didn't have the trash problem that we have now, before the dump was in," Mitchusson said.

Byler said they lack the personnel to fix the problem and it's too dangerous for volunteers.

"Its money any way you look. I don't know, I don't know. The solution is pick the trash up, but who and how, I don't know," Byler said.

He said the landfill is required by the state to clean two miles on either side each day, and they do, but Byler said that's not enough.

TxDOT said they're planning a roadside clean-up for this month.