Remodeling Company Owner Accused of Dumping 2 Tons of Waste Into Protected Wetlands

A remodeling pro is facing three separate charges after allegedly dumping jobsite waste into an environmentally protected area.

Shutterstock/ MARGRIT HIRSCH

According to MSN.com, the owner of a remodeling company in New Jersey has been charged with unlawful disposal or transportation of solid waste after allegedly dumping two tons of waste off of a highway. The owner, a man named Robert Benitez, was arrested on September 20th and has since been released pending his first appearance in court.

The county prosecutor’s office said in a statement that Benitez dumped materials including exterior siding, paint cans, tile, boxes, and other construction-related materials into an area off of New Jersey’s Route 24. According to officials, the area is a Wetland Transition Zone within the Fresh Water Wetlands Protection act. These protections have led to Benitez being charged with additional crimes including one count of violation of the Freshwater Protection Act and one count of the improper discharge in violation of the flood hazard area control act.

All three are crimes of the third degree.

“A complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, this Defendant is presumed innocent unless he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law,” said the county prosecutor’s office. Benitez has made no public statements at this time.

Local authorities led a coordinated cleanup of the area. Over 10 cubic yards and two tons of waste were removed.

Attempting to secretively and illegally dump construction waste into the environment, even in environmentally unprotected areas, is never worth it. There are many ways that construction pros can dispose of garbage from jobsites that are safe, good for the environment and affordable. Check out this website for Waste Management’s guide to legally and effectively eliminating construction waste.

Plus: Did you know the EPA has a task force for cleaning up contaminated areas for new construction?