Bulloch County Commissioners were talking trash again during a scheduled meeting Tuesday, discussing future plans for dump sites and deciding to lift the temporary ban on bulk waste being accepted at manned recycling centers.
During Hurricane Irma, commissioners suspended the acceptance of bulk waste at the manned centers in order to accommodate the handling of other garbage, such as food spoiled due to power outages and other household refuse, said Bulloch County Commission Chairman Roy Thompson.
The temporary ban on recycling centers taking bulk waste caused some concern with some citizens, since yard debris created by falling limbs and other storm-related issues created bulk waste. However, the move was a necessity, he said.
Residents may now deposit bulk waste at the manned centers once more, he said.
Bulk waste should not be dumped at unmanned dump sites, but people still do so, he added. Some sites have been closed due to appliances, construction and demolition materials, and industrial waste being left at the unmanned sites.
One unmanned site that was closed will soon reopen as a manned center, Thompson said. The location at Highway 46 and Arcola Road is being transformed into a supervised recycling center.
“The fence should soon be up and the concrete should be poured this weekend,“ he said Tuesday afternoon. “It will open as a makeshift manned center. We will still have to dig a well and put up a building,” but residents will be able to use the center before then.
Other unmanned dump locations will possibly be changed to manned sites as well, he said. “We would love to do (the site at) Old Groveland next.”
The unmanned site that was closed on Highway 80 and Arcola Road will remain closed, he said.
While much attention has been focused on unmanned dump sites lately, the problems still remain and often the violations come from people who reside in other counties, especially at locations such as the one on Rocky Ford Road at Old River Road North, near the Screven and Jenkins County lines, he said.
Thompson, who lives close to that site, has posted pictures on social media showing bags and boxes of trash scattered on the ground in front of the dumpsters – even when there was room left in the dumpsters for refuse. Some left old furniture and mattresses as well. He and his family have voluntarily cleaned the site on several occasions, he said.
At one time the dumpsters were temporarily removed “as a warning” that unmanned sites abused by residents could be eliminated.
Citations have been issued to several found in violation of the county ordinances, and have led to court cases.
Thompson reminded the public to respect the rules and report anyone seen dumping illegally.
“My last word to citizens would be ‘help,’” he said.
Commissioners are expected to discuss the county’s solid waste changes further at the next County Commission at 5:30 p.m. in the Bulloch County Annex.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.