On Sunday afternoon, a Delaware county woman shared Facebook videos of a man using a Mullin Plumbing van to haul and dump what appears to be construction waste and other junk at a Delaware county dumpster.
She shared the photos because A) the dumpsters are supposed to be set aside for Delaware County residents to dispose bagged trash and other solid waste, and B) it's always fun to trash on a numbskull congressman like Markwayne Mullin.
Check it out:
I have to admit, when I first saw the photos and videos, I got a little bit excited. A US Congressman that was born with a silver spork in his mouth is using his family's company's resources to illegally dump what appears to be construction waste and old furniture in his rural home district? Not only would that be a juicy story, but think of all the fun headline options we'd have available pairing Markwaye with punny words like "trash," "dump," and "shit."
But then we did a bit of research.
TLO Investigative Contributor Phil Cross reached out to Mullin's offices in Washington for comment on the situation. They directed him to Mullin Plumbing. According to them, it was a legal dump. They say the guy in the van was off-duty and helping a friend who lives in Delaware county, and as a result, the big couch and boards and all that fun stuff he was tossing into the dumpster counts as legal, solid residential waste.
Of course, that's coming from the company owned by the guy who calls the Trail of Tears the "Volunteer Walk," so they do have a strange way of interpreting things.
As a result, I did a bit of crack research on the Delaware County dumpsters. To my surprise, they've actually been the source of controversy over the years. In 2016, the dumpsters made the news when officials with the The Delaware County Solid Waste Authority tried to remove them in an effort to, sigh, cut down on illegal dumping...
A rural community meeting of about 300 people quickly turned hostile as Delaware County residents made it clear that they were not happy with a decision to take away their trash Dumpsters.
After almost an hour filled with name-calling and screaming from the angry crowd, with intermittent chants of “put the Dumpsters back,” County Commissioner Tom Sanders announced that officials would consider temporarily returning the Dumpsters...
Kent Vice, Solid Waste Authority general manager, offered the residents his “apologies for the problems with the program.”
The Dumpsters were removed to cut down on illegal dumping, he said.
“We had a problem with illegal contractor dumping,” Vice said. “The Dumpsters were never meant to be permanent.”
A month or two after that, Delaware County officials brought back the dumpsters on a temporary basis. I went to the DelawareCountySolidWaste.com to see if they're still around. This is what it says:
Delaware County Solid Waste has 4 Convenience Centers, 2 Transfer Stations, and numerous unmanned dumpsters located throughout Delaware County. The unmanned dumpsters are for Delaware County residents bagged household trash only. If you reside in Delaware County all bagged household trash is free to dump. If you are not, then tipping fees may apply. You can bring one item (appliances, furniture, etc.) a day free of charge. If you need to dump a truck and/or trailer loads then tipping fees will apply.I'm sure that's a reliable story...
I have no clue if the Mullin van was at a convenience center, transfer station, or dumpster, but I am proud to say I know way more about Delaware County waste management than I ever thought I would. If this whole shit blogging thing doesn't work out, I guess I can always pursue a career in waste management. Then again, I cover Markwayne Mullin and other Oklahoman politicans for a living, so I guess I already do.