Official: County has ‘bad’ trash problem

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Large numbers of Crenshaw County citizens are committing criminal offenses each day from the comforts of their own home, and one local says that it’s time to make a change.

Robert White, an enforcement officer with Crenshaw County Solid Waste, extended a friendly reminder to Crenshaw County residents that the county requires mandatory trash pickup for household trash.

Despite how common of a practice it is, White said that the disposal of trash via popular means like burning is a violation of Section 22-27-3 of the Alabama Code.

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“It’s common everywhere. It’s basically an old habit that everybody has always had,” White said.

“I can remember when I was little.  I’d come home, and Momma would tell me to burn the trash.”

Specifically, part e of Section 22-27-3 states that “no garbage or rubbish containing garbage or other materials that are liable to decay or hazardous wastes shall be burned except in approved incinerators meeting the necessary temperature requirements and air pollution controls as now established or as may later be established.

The open burning of rubbish shall be permitted only under sharply controlled circumstances where sanitary landfill or landfill is not feasible and not in proximity to sanitary landfill or landfill operations where spread of fire to these operations may be a hazard in the opinion of the department.”

Backyard burning is not only a safety hazard to those who practice it, but it’s also detrimental to the environment because of the production of dioxins, a group of highly toxic chemicals that have a tendency to settle on crops and waterways that may eventually find a way into food sources and negatively impact the health of those that consume it.

But trash burning is far from the only common offense.

White added that there are several other ways that residents may be in violation of established codes, including the use of personal dumpsites on both public and private property.

These and similar violations relating to criminal littering can incur fines beginning at $250.

In White’s experience, improper waste disposal is an issue that has grown over time for Crenshaw County.

“Our highways are nasty,” White said. “Some front yards are nasty, with piles of trash where residents have been burning it, and there are old tires that are piled up — it’s very bad.”

According to White, there are a number of easy solutions concerning waste disposal, including contacting Advanced Disposal in the event that a household does not have an established trash pickup.

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