Lee County takes action on litter problem - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. takes action on litter problem

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Code enforcer Ben Roberts sifts through the debris to determine who might have dumped it  there. Code enforcer Ben Roberts sifts through the debris to determine who might have dumped it there.
Dumpers will be prosecuted, and fines can reach $1,000 Dumpers will be prosecuted, and fines can reach $1,000
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LEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

Lee County officials are tired of the unsightly mini-dumpsites they're seeing lately. They will offer free dump days at the Lee County landfill on Highway 32.

On the last Saturday of the month, Lee Co. citizens can dump leaves, branches, straw, and other inert materials, including metals, as long as the items are not toxic. Normally, the dump charges three cents a pound for dumping.

Businesses, however, must still pay for services.

WALB caught up with Lee Co. code enforcer Ben Roberts as he investigated an illegal dumpsite off Robert B. Lee Road near Leesburg. Roberts sifted through the debris in an effort to determine who might have dumped it there. "It's something in Lee County we take very seriously, is illegal dumping."

Roberts found pool chemical containers, plastic piping, lumber, and bags of garbage.  But officials say it's not just a mess that concerns them. "It's not just an eyesore, it has an environmental impact. Some of the stuff in here looks like some chemical type issues, that could leach into the ground.  All of this trash can be attractive to wildlife."

Officials say trash covered property is not the kind of county they want.  "The bad part about it, if you don't keep them cleaned up and try to prevent them, they will attract more," County Manager Ron Rabun said.

So in December county commissioners decided to make the last Saturday of each month a free day at the landfill for county residents, to combat illegal dumping. The landfill takes inert materials such as leaves, limbs, straw, and white goods such as appliances and any metals.

"It's a service that I think will be accepted. I think it takes the pressure off of you.  Figuring out what in the world am I going to do with some of the garbage and some of this stuff that I have collected. So I think it will make a difference," Rabun said.

This illegal dump site is only about a mile from the landfill, so officers know that some people will continue to break the law. They'll keep patrolling and investigating, determined to stop illegal dumping.

Roberts says if they determine who might have dumped trash illegally, they will get a visit from code enforcement, be prosecuted, and the fines can reach $1,000.

Roberts said these dumps are not only an eyesore, but they also pose public health problems, and can also provide a breeding spot for mosquitoes.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.