Troup County to crack down on illegal trash dumping, citations coming

Published 11:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2023

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With the closure of the majority of the convenience centers in Troup County and the requirement to pay to drop off trash at the remaining four sites, people have expectedly and illegally taken to defiantly leaving their trash outside the locked sites.

County Manager Eric Mosley said the plan is to continue to clean the sites and try to find out who is dumping the trash. He said citations are coming for those who illegally dispose of their garbage in this manner.

“If there are bags on the ground, we’re going through the bags, looking for addresses of individuals that dropped the trash off,” Mosley said. “We have already, just yesterday, located a couple of addresses, and we will be delivering citations to those individuals as soon as possible.”

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Mosley said the punishment for illegal dumping or any county ordinance violation is a fine up to $1,000 or six months in jail.

The county is also using cameras to potentially catch violators.

“We actually have cameras out and are utilizing those cameras to catch individuals who are dumping illegally,” Mosley said. “We’ve had some out before the convenience centers closed.”

Troup County Marshals were out to investigate the now-closed “Cattle Barn” convenience center on Patillo Rd. on Wednesday after many bags of trash were found dumped outside the locked gate at the site. Mosley said crews responded the next morning to clean it up.

The Cattle Barn convenience center is right off Hogansville Road (US 29), a well-traveled highway, so people weren’t trying very hard to hide the illegal dumping.

“If they’re going to do it there, they’ll do it anywhere,” Mosley said. “Even when the convenience centers were open, they were doing it. I would love to believe that this is a symptom of the closing of the convenience centers but honestly, our citizens have been doing this throughout the county for the past decade, and we’ve had just about unlimited access to our convenience centers.”

Some are still upset about the county’s decision to contract and turn over residential sanitation to Martin Environmental Services. The company’s exclusive franchise contract to offer curbside pickup and run the four remaining convenience centers went into effect on July 1.

“There’s going to be some growing pains on the front end. We certainly have seen a huge number of residents who have chosen curbside pickup, but others certainly are in opposition of it and are holding on to the convenience center model, which is fine,” Mosley said.

“Ultimately, we made the decision that we would offer a hybrid model, which includes curbside and convenience centers. By doing so, that did raise the cost of operation of our sanitation but commissioners felt that they needed to offer those services,” Mosley said.

“It would have been much cheaper if we would have just done mandatory curbside pickup for all residents because right now [Martin Environmental is] having to run all around the county. Not everybody has chosen it,” Mosley said. “It costs more to be able to operate because you’re having to cover so much more ground per customer.”