County discusses illegal dump sites

Published 6:22 pm Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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In early February, Pike County Commissioner Russell Johnson brought up the topic of illegal dump sites in the county.

Johnson said it was unfair for property owners to be fined by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and forced to clean up their property because people were “dumping their garbage in a gully.”

Johnson said he had been looking at ways to try and curb the illegal dumping. He said some counties in Tennessee have approved sites where people can bring garbage and deposit it in roll-off containers

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Pike County Engineer Russell Oliver told commissioners he had looked into Johnson’s idea and Coffee County has a roll-off dumpster program. He  said roll-off dumpsters could be placed at a permanent location for a $100 delivery fee. He said the rates were $15 per ton for residential waste and $19 per ton for municipal solid waste. He said the county would most likely have to pay $19 per ton because more items than household garbage would be placed in the dumpster.

Oliver said there was no way to estimate how much garbage would be brought to a site. But, he said, an estimate of seven tons per month would put the bill at about $2,800 annually. Johnson said one site in each of the county’s four quadrants would hopefully encourage people to drive their trash to an approved site rather than driving to remote areas to illegally  dump the trash

If the commission approves four dump sites, the bill would be about $11,200 based on the seven-ton estimate. Oliver said that was about half of what the county had paid to clean up illegal dump sites in the past.

“We have  no policy now,” Johnson said. “If we have four locations, we can police it better. We have got to have a place to deal with this. Property owners are getting a letter from ADEM and have to pay $20,000 to clean up their property because everybody and their sister is throwing trash into their gulley.”

The commission took no official action on the proposal.

The Commission’s next meeting is March 8. T.C.U. Consulting Services is expected to make a recommendation on awarding a bid for the Pike County Jail and Judicial Complex.