Comm. Croft offers incentive to clean up Evans County roads
Convenience trash sites for disposal of extra bagged garbage in Evans County officially closed November 18. County code enforcement officers have not yet observed increased illegal dumping along roadsides or on private property as a result of the trash site closures, but county officials speculate there may be more of a problem after Christmas when locals have more household garbage than normal.
A City of Claxton employee reported Tuesday the city has received one call from a downtown business owner concerned that his dumpster might become an illegal dumping site as a result of the closures, but no actual increase in dumping has been reported as of yet.
Residents of Canoochee Properties, a private housing development along the Canoochee River, have posted pictures to Facebook of illegal dumping overflowing a trash dumpster in the area after the convenience sites closed.
Canoochee Properties is a private development. The roads aren’t serviced by county crews. Residents living on roads that can be navigated by AllGreen Services’ trash trucks have house-to-house pickup, but those who can’t be reached, utilize a dumpster inside the development. Some Canoochee residents may have been utilizing the Hwys. 129/169 convenience site to dispose of their household garbage as well.
“I understand there is a problem at Canoochee that we’re going to have to address,” said Commissioner Del Beasley. “I think what we’ve found out now is there is more need down there.” An additional dumpster may need to be placed inside Canoochee for those residents to utilize. “There will have to be an increase of some sort in there,” Beasley added.
Tax Assessor Neal Groover, who oversees code enforcement and house-to-house trash pick up, confirmed people who don’t live in Canoochee had reportedly been dumping in that private dumpster. The matter was to be addressed at the BOC monthly meeting last night.
Clean Up Evans County
One county commissioner is providing the public with a little extra incentive to help keep Evans County clean.
Last week, County Commissioner Brian Croft (District 4) posted photos to Facebook of tires, mattresses and TVs dumped off Edgar Hodges Road, near the river. On two separate occasions — once before the trash sites were closed and once after Thanksgiving — Croft picked up the debris and reported it only cost him $10 to dispose of the items at the county landfill. He’s offering to reimburse other citizens who are willing to do the same thing.
“If you take a picture of the trash in the road and name the road, tag my “Elect Brian Croft” page then pick it up and carry to the landfill,” Croft proposed. “After that, bring me the receipt and I’ll pay you back with money from my Commissioner check.”
“Also if it’s bag garbage, if it’s got a name on some mail in the bag, take pictures and post here to my page,” Croft continued. “If they get a fine for dumping, I might even give you a reward.”
Croft wasn’t convinced that the items he picked up were directly related to the convenience site closures. “It’s hard to see whether it’s related. The two TVs I picked up very well could have been related, but of course on Black Friday everybody goes out and buys TVs … the timing of that might have just made it look that way,” Croft said Monday. “That’s a common place for people to throw stuff out … those two mattresses I picked up were two months prior to the sites being closed.”
Croft hasn’t had any takers on his proposal yet. “It wasn’t an easy decision [closing the sites]. This is my way of offering back a piece of a solution, an effort to get people involved,” he said.
Closure of the trash sites was necessary due to incessant dumping of illegal items and use of the sites by out-of-county individuals as well as city residents who don’t pay for the service, county officials say. Funding the sites was no longer feasible due to the rampant misuse.
County commissioners debated back and forth for months about whether or not to close the sites, voicing concerns over how illegal dumping would be controlled once the sites closed.
Beasley ultimately voted to close the sites, but expressed his concern that trash would be dumped alongside county roads or on private property as a result.
Beasley reported Monday, however, that no increase in illegal dumping has occurred to his knowledge, other than the Canoochee Properties instance. “I talked to Donnell [code enforcement officer] on Friday and he said there has not been any increase so far,” Beasley said.
Beasley did receive a call from a citizen Friday afternoon reporting four bags of household garbage dumped at Bull Creek, but that isn’t an abnormality. “That’s what happens on these roads that aren’t well traveled,” he continued. “That was not unusual. I’ve had calls there ever since I’ve been a commissioner.
By Sarah Gove, Enterprise Editor – email@example.com