Grady County leaders search for solution to trash overflowing at dump sites

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 8, 2019

GRADY CO., Ga. (WCTV) -- Grady County leaders are trying to find a solution to residents' complaints that trash is overflowing at more than 30 local dump sites.

The county has seen a dramatic increase in trash due to the recent holidays and ongoing construction after Hurricane Michael. Tuesday morning, the issue was discussed at a Board of Commissioners meeting at the Grady County Courthouse.

County Administrator Buddy Johnson says part of the problem is caused by contractors who charge clients for trips to the landfill. Now, the county is discovering large loads dumped off at their sites instead. Code enforcement has been notified.

"It's nasty, and we know it is. We just urge people to use the sites properly and put the trash in the dumpsters. If it's full, set it beside the dumpster. Don't just throw it out on the road or highway and run away," said Johnson.

The large volume of trash is causing dump sites to back up, and eventually overflow into yards and streets.

With the big load, comes an even bigger problem. The county only owns two dump trucks and there's no local landfill. They say after cleaning several dump sites, it's a three hour trip to landfills in Decatur and Thomas counties.

"I want to make sure our residents know we understand this is a problem. This is the problem right now, and while we have several, this is at the top of our list to begin to correct," said Johnson.

County leaders discussed several different solutions at Tuesday's BOC meeting.

As a short-term solution, the county is currently spending a few thousand dollars to hire additional help to pick up every site on the weekend. Their long-term plan is to eventually close most of their sites. In the end, the county would only have a total of five, like the one on 20th Street.

Each site would be managed and monitored by one employee. Johnson says they aren't disclosing any locations at this time, but already have land acquired for some of the new sites.

Their next step is to get started on creating the first of many new manned dump sites. Each one could cost the county anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 to build.