Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The annual county cleanup event ended on April 15 but the effects are still lingering. One fire department representative addressed the fiscal court today and shared his feelings.
"This was a total disaster," said Chalybeate Fire Department board member Carl Lindsey. "It's a shame that with the caliber of people we have in Edmonson County, there's no more respect for the county than for people to just come and throw their trash all over the fire departments."
We reported that fire department members all over the county were very unhappy about the way the event was handled and how the public did not follow the instructions of the program, leaving a big mess for fire department members to deal with, something for which they say they didn't sign up.
Lindsey said that due to the misuse of the dumpsters at Chalybeate FD, the department will not allow any more dumpsters to be used at their location.
Cannon immediately agreed that changes to the program are needed and he and event coordinator Mike Clubb are already putting a plan in place for next year.
According to Judge Cannon, Scott Waste's contract with Edmonson County requires them to furnish 12 dumpsters for the program each year. A representative of Scott Waste told the fiscal court today that a total of 47 dumpsters were provided by Scott's during this year's event, 18 of which were used at Kyrock and another 12 at Chalybeate.
The dumpsters were stationed at each of the county fire departments with instructions of not to overfill the dumpsters and that dumping on the ground of any kind would be prohibited. It was estimated that there were four dumpsters-worth of trash dumped on the ground at Kyrock alone.
Scott Waste estimated a total of $30,000 worth of their resources was spent on this year's program. According to last week's Edmonson Voice poll which appears on our homepage each week, 55% of those polled said the best solution would be for someone to provide more dumpsters at no additional cost.
The poll was discussed at today's meeting, which caused county officials to shake their heads in disbelief.
"What I think we have here is people coming from outside the county, all around us," said Cannon. "I'd like (the dumpsters) to be spread out around the county, but it's just not working. Our director, Mike Clubb, has recommended that we find a centralized location and put a time period on it where people can bring trash to the dumpsters. That way, we can monitor it. We have to make sure there are no chemicals, no tires, nothing thrown out on the ground."
He said it's not the fire departments' responsibility to monitor who is dumping, what is being dumped, or where it's being placed.
He also reminded the court that Scott Waste doesn't have to pick up anything more than their contract says, and had they chose, they could have left tons of smelly trash piled up at all our fire departments, but they chose to pick it up, with volunteers' help.
"It's not Scott Waste's fault that people are throwing their trash out on the ground," he said. "This creates a huge mess that someone has to pick up. Another issue we're having is that people are climbing into the dumpsters looking for things to keep. They're not allowed inside the dumpsters, that's criminal trespassing, and dumping litter on the ground is criminal littering. We can't allow people in the dumpsters because someone could get hurt."
Sheriff Shane Doyle said his department doesn't have the resources or manpower to monitor the dumpsters like they need and it's not fair to ask Scott Waste to provide any more dumpsters for free, as they've already provided four times the amount more this year than their contract required.
The breakdown for the dumpsters used were:
"Right now, this is just one plan, and not everyone will be happy with it, but we have to do something different because our current program is not working," he said.
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