Catoosa County is educating public on illegal dumpinghttp://www.walkermessenger.com/view/full_story/6406010/article-Catoosa-County-is-educating-public-on-illegal-dumping-?instance=secondary_stories_left_column by Mark Andrews
Chuck Taylor, roads department director for Catoosa County, said nearly 75 percent of people driving to the county landfill do not have their load of garbage properly secured or covered, resulting in roadways being littered. Under state law, that’s dumping illegally, he said.
“It’s partially because people aren’t properly securing their vehicles and items will fall out,” Taylor said about the littering problem.
But also “it’s partially a sign of the economic times. People are choosing to dump anywhere,” he said.
Taylor said “problem” areas include Poplar Springs, Oak Tree and Dedmon roads.
He said a major problem is the illegal dumping of tires, with 40 tires recently found on the roadway in a single pile.
He added that three sofas were recently found in three different areas.
In order to cut down on littered roadways, the public works department, as well as sheriff’s deputies, will be at the county landfill Saturday, Feb. 20, from 8 a.m. until noon and on Monday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. in an effort to “educate” citizens on the legal and financial repercussions of littering.
For example, any amount of biomedical or hazardous material dumped on a state roadway is considered a fel-ony, resulting in a fine of up to $25,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years.
Also, an arresting officer may impound a person’s vehicle in the case of any litter that exceeds 10 pounds or 15 cubic feet.
Taylor said the department will be handing out brochures at the landfill with information ranging from the proper way to secure a vehicle, to the financial cost due to state litter violations.
He said the sheriff’s department will be making its presence known and will begin issuing tickets and citations for those who are violating the state law.
According to a pamphlet by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the state Department of Transporta-tion has spent $14 million in a single year picking up roadside litter.
“What people don’t realize is that this costs taxpayers thousands,” Taylor said. “First, (taxpayers) are paying for labor costs to have the litter removed. Then they’re paying to have the litter dumped. It’s costing them twice — plus, it’s illegal.”