Illegal dumping costing Crisp tax payers, solutions sought - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Illegal dumping costing Crisp tax payers, solutions sought

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CRISP COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

One man's trash is another man's treasure is a phrase that need not apply is Crisp County.

Trash has been piling up at the county's 15 dump sites which are reserved for tax paying citizens who foot the bill for the dumpsters.

But outsiders have been coming in - dumping illegally - and racking up a bill in the hundreds of thousands of dollars forcing county leaders to take action.

"I have seen it look very bad. I have seen trash piled up here so high you could hardly walk around the dumpster," said Connie Carney.

She is a member of a commission appointed task force formed to solve the garbage problem -one that has become very expensive.

"It is probably around $700,000 dollars a year that the taxpayers of Crisp County have to pay to clean this up everyday," she said.

Pictures from the 15 dump sites located throughout the county show just how bad the problem has become.

Officials say it's a known fact Crisp County has the dump sites and people from surrounding counties take advantage of them.

The DNR even ordered a site near Blackshear shut down due to the threat of water pollution. It's still open.

During the interview for this story we caught someone trying to illegally dump non-household items in the dumpster.

"We in Crisp County have to pay for it. We pay for it on our taxes," said Carney.

Last week county commissioners voted to hold a public hearing on curb side garbage service which would do away with the dump sites.

"We found after doing a lot of research that curbside pickup is the best for the county as a whole. It's the most economical," Carney said.

Right now the 4,500 or so households in Crisp County pay between $100 and $500 dollars a year, based on property value, for garbage. The curb side fee would be worked out through a vendor. Some estimates are around $200 a year.

"It will cost some people a little more money. In the long run it will average out that you're not paying as much as you are now," said Carney.

Aside from the environmental hazards, task force members say the millions spent on garbage cleanup over the years would save taxpayers, too.

"That's money that could spent on other projects that we desperately need in this county," she said.

Commissioners would likely not vote on the measure until January and the proposal includes keeping 2 dumpsites open along with the county's landfill.

The commission will sort out the details and take Q & A from citizens at Friday's public hearing.

It will start at 10 AM at the Crisp County Courthouse.