Jefferson County Commission

Jefferson County Commissioners Look for Ways to Stop Illegal Dumping

No Dumping sign in Forestdale area. (Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)

Jefferson County commissioners in their meeting Thursday said illegal dumping has gotten worse throughout the majority of unincorporated Jefferson County and something needs to be done.

“We’ve been continuously having a really big problem of illegal dumping and it has gotten out of control,” Commissioner Lashunda Scales said. “Even though we clean it, we seem to have to go back often to rectify it.”

Commissioner President James A. Stephens also was concerned about the issue.

“We are very concerned about those who choose not to participate in the trash pick-up and instead go down some other road and throw the trash out and turn it into someone else’s problem,” Stephens said. “Well, guys, it’s our problem.”

Scales agreed. “I am concerned about those who have decided to go with garbage collection versus those who have not,” she said. “You can’t force people to take a service they don’t want to pay for. But obviously, it makes the county not only look bad, but it also puts us in a real dangerous place.”

Stephens said he plans to work with the Sheriff’s Department and environmental services to install cameras that can help them reprimand people committing the illegal dumping. “This is our community and we have to take pride in our community,” he said.

Commissioner Steve Ammons said illegal dumping is “everyone’s issue.”

“What a lot of people don’t realize is … with all this flooding, we’ve been experiencing, it picks up the trash and puts it in our creeks and our streams and our rivers. So, it doesn’t just affect a certain part of the county, it affects all parts of the county,” Ammons said.

“If there is something legislative we can do to find something more stringent to hold folks accountable, because we’re about to be on the stage for the World Games next year. We need to take care of it.”

Stephens also said he has had residents and business owners complain that they are dissatisfied with how the county has responded to excessive flooding and water damage to certain areas.

“We should be the best. I want us to be the best,” Stephens said. “I want to give people a reason to move into and to raise their family in Jefferson County. … We need to work in unison to make this the best place to be.”