Folks who illegally dump trash in Grady County need to pay special attention to this next report the county's first environmental control officer is now on duty and ready to catch the violators red handed.
They face fines of up $300 and possibly jail time. County officials say they have dealt with illegal items left at trash sites for too long, and this is the only way to show how serious they are about stopping it.
Year after year, Grady County citizens say they've put up with others who abuse the convenience of the county's trash dumpsites.
"People come and throw trash around like they just don't care," says Tim Mercer.
"You can't hardly get in here for people just too lazy, too sorry I guess to put trash in the box, they set in across the ground, it's a shame," Bill Neely adds.
County officials are also fed up, and now there's a new deputy in town, an environmental control officer, hot on the trail of those who neglect these sites.
"I'm here to arrest people ticket them or whatever it takes to stop the littering and illegal dumping," says Deputy Willard Hinton.
Deputy Hinton has issued 8 citations so far, mostly people from out of county and out of state, from illegal dumping to dumpster diving. He'll be on patrol 24 hours a day to put an end to it.
"It's pretty good fines. Out of state and county people have to post a bound it can be a $500 cash bond, I can have their vehicle towed,” he says.
Residents welcome Hinton with open arms and he's serious about keeping the entire county litter free. Though it's a dirty job, he'll stop at nothing to get folks to clean up their act.
The offense is a misdemeanor. Deputy Hinton patrols all 40 dumpsites in the county while also looking for people who litter the roadways and water systems. There are also plans to make improvements to some dump sites to accommodate items other than household trash. There are plans to make upgrades at some of the sites, including units for bulky waste and discarded appliances, such as refrigerators and old toys.