Household waste could no longer be dumped on your own property, under legislation being considered at the Capitol.
Current state law allows waste produced in your own home to be dumped on your property. State Representative Louis Molepske (D-Stevens Point) says that has resulted in people burying everything from old batteries to household chemicals in their backyards.
Molepske says that can result in harmful toxins leeching into the soil, which can pollute groundwater supplies. It could also leave future property owners dealing with the aftermath if they find a hidden dump underneath the soil.
Molepske is sponsoring legislation that would require household waste to go to landfills instead. He says regulated landfills are available around the state and are the best way to protect the environment.
The bill does provide an exemption for compost and other natural materials, such as untreated wood and brick.
The DNR would respond to complaints about property owners who continue to dump waste in their backyards, but enforcement would be left up to the Department of Justice. If signed into law, trash already dumped before it takes effect would not have to be cleaned up.