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Trashy Situation

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November 18, 2004

Cairo - Pieces of scrap are spilling into 20th street in Cairo, creating an ugly and dangerous mess for passersby. "We just need to get A & R metal back on their property and off of the right-of-way so that the people that own the right of way can travel up and down it without fear of somebody dumping trash on them," says Councilman Adrian Clark.

He says the city has been griping about the garbage at A & R Metals for years, but the situation intensified after 9-11.

"When 9-11 came, I could only ship ten loads from 9-11 to January 10th. I normally ship a load a day, sometimes two loads a day," says Jimmy Hammett, operator of A & R Metals. So things got backed up, and people continued to dump at his site, many times without permission. Hammett says, "I just got full. People started dumping on weekends and after hours along the side of the street here."

One of the biggest problems with this site is that no one seems to know who really owns the land closest to the road. The city says this is a right of way, but Hammett says A & R metals owns it and that people have every right to dump here.

But he does realize that the junk piled on the side of the road is an eyesore, even a safety hazard, and says he'll clean it up. "I will move the scrap and I'm going to try to move it back on back further away from the road," says Hammett.

And that's all the city is asking for. Clark says A & R is a necessity for the Cairo community, and it would be a waste if they shut down. "I do not want them to shut down," says Clark. "It is a business, we need the business here. I just want him to be like every other business in this town and operate on his own property."

Because even when your business is trash, you don't want your city to look trashy. Jimmy Hammett says he will clear dumped appliances and junk off the side of the road, and WALB plans to follow up with him in two weeks.

posted at 5:13 PM by karen.collier@walb.com