A few trucks have started hauling debris from the defunct Merck plant to the Dougherty County landfill. That will pick up in the next few weeks.
Some neighbors are worried what that means for the community that debris is traveling though. This isn't the first clean up sight in Dougherty County. Many have been through this before.
Residents also know the land out here had chemicals on it and they're concerned about that debris now coming through the community.
Work at the Merck plant has drawn concern from Thomas Jefferson Miles, Sr., who doesn't even live near the plant, but cares just the same. "I got 'county watch,' not neighborhood watch," he said.
He's lived near other sites he says were not properly cleared. "I had the same situation in my neighborhood where they had to move debris that was contaminated and the county was using their trucks and the trucks weren't covered."
And he's called the EPD. That's what he's hoping neighbors will do, if they see trucks driving through neighborhoods uncovered. Many of those trucks won't be going far, from Merck to the Dougherty County landfill, near the Marine Base.
"This additional waste is not part of our normal waste streams that we receive from local clients this is pretty much a one shot deal," said Dougherty County Solid Waste Director Scott Addison, P. E.
They expect to get 25,000 tons of construction debris and nothing hazardous. The county offered the Atlanta demolition company a competitive tipping fee to get the debris and revenue.
"The volume of waste we're getting here is approximately a quarter of our annual tonnage so the revenue will equate to approximately $740,000," Addison said.
With the amount of chemicals at the Merck plant at one time, Miles just wants to make sure all necessary precautions are taken. "That's the main thing, safe."
He wants to make sure it doesn't fall back on the taxpayer if something is done incorrectly. Merck officials say the demolition of the plant will take 12 to 18 months. They plan to restore the site to its condition before the plant was built. The land remains for sale.
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