Bulloch County is canning a few of their waste facilities.
Due to an increase in out-of-county dumping coupled with the rise of citizens leaving unapproved items at unmanned sites, the Bulloch Commissioners say they are have no choice but to take swift action. Near the end of the commission meeting Tuesday, the Commissioners held a work session to address the ongoing issue of solid waste centers becoming an expensive eyesore.
The sites, Bulloch County Solid Waste Director Fred White said, are drawing feral animals and scavengers while garnering the appearance of mini landfills because trash and waste is left all over the sites and in containers that are dangerous for disposal. As a result, Bulloch County residents are footing the bill for increased manpower and resources to sort the items dumped and for transporting the waste to Jesup – to the tune of an extra $175,000.
Chairman Roy Thompson said over the course of the last few weeks, he has visited many of the sites only to be disappointed at the bulk waste being disposed of at solid waste facilities – locations intended to take in household garbage. Toilets, boats, crawfish remains, mattresses, tires – you name it – they are flooding the sites.
Newly-elected Commissioner Curt Deal spent the weekend of February 10 visiting various sites around the county and taking photos. He presented those photos, which were disturbing to everyone in the room, to the Commission Tuesday.
White also said employees and code enforcement officials attempting to stop citizens and non-residents from the illegal dumping are often verbally assaulted and not long ago, a semi-truck from Savannah was caught by code enforcement emptying a truck full. White says the driver said he was “told to go to Bulloch County.”
“It seems funny, but it’s really tragic,” White said.
Ultimately, Chairman Roy Thompson said it was imperative that the three most resource-draining facilities close effective February 28.
The centers to close are:
- the facility at Arcola and Hwy 80
- the Old Groveland Road location
- the facility at Arcola and Hwy 46
For the time being, five other unmanned sites will remain ‘as-is.’
The closures will not be permanent. The plan is to close the facilities, clean up the sites, and restructure the locations to eventually become manned sites to control the flow of traffic – ensuring the dumping is by resident – and to redirect eligible items to the landfill. The new sites will be modeled after the Union Church location which recently became a manned location in December of last year.
The County will also attempt to work with the City of Statesboro to open the landfill on weekends. The facility is currently closed on Saturdays and Sundays, which often causes complications for Bulloch residents doing cleanup on weekends.
You can learn more about the solid waste facilities, recycling facilities, and the landfill on the Bulloch County website. The county also has a 10-year plan for solid waste which is available in PDF.