Illegal Dumping = Thousands of Dollars

Gadsden County officials have been spending thousands of dollars to dispose of garbage and household items, some of which they believe are being dumped illegally by residents from surrounding counties. To put a stop to these illegal dumpings, county officials are now making some drastic changes.

It's a familiar sight these county employees see every Monday morning, garbage bags tossed about like frisbees. Gadsden County officials believe most of the trash is being disposed of by folks in surrounding counties and the illegal dumping is costing the county a pretty penny.

"It's been running about 22,000 a month to run the program, which is about 5,000 a month over budget. We're looking at about a 75,000 shortfall,” says Robert Presnell.

Despite a sign reminding folks to dispose of household garbage only, mattresses and a washing machine have made its way to the dumpsite, and to avoid falling deeper into a financial rut, county officials have now decided to implement a few changes.

"We will fence the sites. We will have five sites, one per county commissioner, we'll have two people man the sites similar to that of Jefferson and Leon counties," says Howard McKinnon,

In addition to these changes, Gadsden County residents will now have to pay an annual fee to dispose of their household garbage.

"There will be a user fee of $25 that a window sticker, we're still working the details, people will purchase that and display it in their windows and they'll be able to use it," McKinnon adds.

In a few weeks, county officials will be sending out notices to residents about these proposed changes. The county manager estimates the changes should take effect in about a month.