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'Take your poopy diapers to the dumpsite'

BEMIDJI -- A case of intermittent diaper dumping in Beltrami County has officials pleading for help.

During the past four years, several cases of illegally dumped adult diapers, catheters and other hazardous materials, including syringes, have been dumped in county road ditches.

"Due to the hazardous nature of these wastes, cleanup requires contracting with a firm who has the protective equipment to wear when cleaning up human waste that is rotting in a ditch," according to a news release Friday by Beltrami County.

The county has paid more than $1,000 within the past 18 months to clean up after the dumping.

"In the interest of being a good citizen, we are asking whoever is responsible for this please stops this behavior and do the right thing -- take your poopy diapers to the dumpsite," says a news release, jointly signed by Sheriff Phil Hodapp and Beryl Wernberg, the county's emergency management director and 911 supervisor.

In addition, Hodapp and Wernberg are asking the public to help solve the case.

"To date, no one has witnessed either the vehicle or persons responsible for dumping this trash on the side of the roads," the officials said in the release.

Two complaints of diaper dumping have been reported to Beltrami officials this past week.

On Thursday, officials received a report of dumping, believed to have occurred last weekend, along Grange Road, about two miles west of state Highway 89. It was followed by a report Friday that similar dumping had happened on Great Divide Road west of Highway 89.

"People walking their dogs, riding their horses or children riding their bikes and others could stumble into this 'crap' and contract infections or suffer other health issues," the release said.

Further, the release expresses frustration by officials over the dumping.

"The irony of this situation is that there is a Waste Management dump site set up for citizens of Beltrami County" in Pinewood, about three miles from the earlier reported dump site, officials said. "This type of garbage can be simply disposed of in the canisters provided at that site or others situated throughout the county."

Anyone with information leading to the arrest of the responsible person or people is asked to call (218) 333-9111 or email

"We really would appreciate any and all tips from citizens to help us locate and prosecute the persons responsible for this," Wernberg said in an email issuing the release.