Waste Watchers

The trash collection sites in Thomas County have recently seen an increase in dumping of construction and industrial materials, trash that should be taken to the landfill, only 200 yards away from a dump site.

County officials say there have also been scavengers rummaging through the waste, which is illegal. Now, the county is taking steps to stop these problems so that residents can continue enjoying this service.

James Coffee, a Thomas County sanitation driver, says, "So they're dumping on the ground ‘cause the driver and the inmate are here to load it up for them when they leave, but what they don't know is they've committed a misdemeanor by disposing of their stuff outside this can."

Larger signs will be posted to clarify the rules and county officials will be on hand to keep a more watchful eye and make sure those rules are followed.

Johnny Reichert, the director of Building, Planning and Zoning, says, "There will be a lot more surveillance taken; afternoons, weekends, whenever the inspector can get around to these sites."

Hamilton Faulk of Thomas County Code Enforcement adds, "We're hoping that with the strict fines that we will be imposing for these violations that hopefully we will begin to cut back on these problems that we've been having and get these collection sites looking better and easier for the public."

County officials say no warnings will be issued and that fines will range anywhere from $200 to $1,200. The environmental officer that will be policing the sites will not have set hours. He will visit the sites as he sees fit.