Bulloch County officials shut down dump to send message to offenders

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Bulloch County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to close one of its four southern county dump sites due to continual illegal dumping. (Credit: Josie Gregory)

Bulloch County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to close one of its four southern county dump sites due to continual illegal dumping.

Fred White, Bulloch County's Environmental and Solid Waste Department Director, gave a presentation to the county commission outlining the ongoing issues with three of the four southern dump sites: Arcola Road at Highway 80, Arcola Road at Highway 46, and Lawrence Church Road.

"We have had tremendous issues throughout this county with our unmanned, or unstaffed, sites," County Commission Chairman, Roy Thompson, said.

Overflowing dumpsters, household furniture, construction scraps, tires, and spray paint graffiti litter the sites.

The county has closed each of the four locations for a week at a time to spruce them up, including picking up all of the trash, repainting the dumpsters, and grading the gravel lot.

"It's becoming a health hazard as well as an unsightly problem," White said.

The site at Rocky Ford Road had just recently been cleaned up, and officials said people are taking care of it now.

The dump sites are for Bulloch county residents only. However, Chairman Thompson believes people from outside the county are illegally dumping all of the prohibited material because these sites are free.

"It's working [White] to death and everybody that works under him, trying to keep these sites clean," Thompson said.

As a result of the constant neglect, the county commission decided to close the Lawrence Church Road location.

"These spots used to only take maybe thirty minutes with one truck. We now send two trucks out, and it takes an hour, hour and a half," White said.

Thompson said the commission will close the three remaining sites if they continue to be abused.

He also said the commission is now looking into building two staffed dump sites in this area in the future to curb the illegal dumping.

Thompson said the most economical site they can build will cost $45,000 and then an additional $21,000 a year for each attendant.

County officials said the more people trash the county, the more taxpayers have to shell out to clean up someone else's mess.

The fine for violating Bulloch County's Clean Community Ordinance is $1,000. However, if someone is caught illegally dumping, the county magistrate will levy the fine, and it could be more than $1,000.