By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

It was at the end of one of those stinking hot days, just as it was finally cooling off as evening approached and the sun started setting in the west.

So I motored around the neighborhood, which in my case is a 10-mile drive or more.

After nearly making the circuit, only about 2 miles from home, I slammed on the brakes, backing up at break-neck speed to make sure I actually saw what I thought I saw.

And yes, there it was. I uttered a few words, all of them unsuitable for this column.

There it was, pickup load of trash, the remains, if I had to guess, of a recent remodeling project on someone's bathroom or small kitchen. I took a picture to demonstrate what it looks like.

Bottom line, it looks disgusting.

It's bad enough that any of the debris from the remodeling job had to end up in the ditches out in the county. What makes it especially bad is that discarded light fixtures, boards -- complete with nails sticking out -- and a cardboard box had to be included in the dumping.

The wallboard, comprising the greatest amount, would have degraded over time as rains fell and the paper backing started to disintegrate.

The light fixture would have easily fit inside the trash receptacles the city of Hays offers. Same for the boards, had they been cut into slightly smaller pieces.

The least this person could have done would have been to pull the nails from the boards. Makes for fewer flats that way.

But I suppose if an individual would rather load up his truck and drive out about 6 1/2 miles into the country, most likely under cover of darkness, then I suppose it would be too much to ask if he would remove the nails from the boards.

It wouldn't have taken that much more for this handy person to take what he had already loaded up in his pickup and headed north, to the Ellis County Landfill.

Construction waste costs $30 a ton, $8 minimum.

While I grant you that's too much, its well worth the cost to properly dispose of the material.

The landfill certainly isn't difficult to find, located on 55th Street, just off Hall Street. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so there's time after work to drive the mile out so outside of town.

For those of you who remember my tirades about other trash-dumping episodes, the landfill continues to take e-waste. And they do it for free. How can you beat a deal like that?

So next time you sit in the driveway, wondering whether you should head out into the wide open spaces or head north with that pile of trash, do us all a favor and head north.

The cost isn't great. The staff is courteous and helpful.

If you've got electronic waste, it's all free.

Now, if only our handyman would slip back out under cover of darkness and pick up his trash. Heck, if he'd do it in the daylight, I might even help.

But I know I'm dreaming there.