Lee County declares war on illegal dumping

30 11 2008

By Jim Wallace | WALB

Lee County code enforcement officers say they have declared war on illegal dumping in one of South Georgia’s fastest growing counties.

They’re working with State Department of Natural Resources Rangers to track down people who dump and throw out trash so they can prosecute them.

Department of Natural Resources Conservation Ranger Randy James is on patrol this Holiday weekend, looking for illegal dumping. He finds a big pile under a bridge on the Leslie Highway.

Ranger Randy James said “They get down in here, dump it off, and take off.”

Leaving behind a real mess for taxpayers to clean up.

James said “Right here we’ve got a little bit of roofing material, a screen, looks like some fencing and a bed. Look out here you’ve got a piece of decking and deer carcuses.”

Not only creating an eyesore, but a real health danger to the area’s environment.

James said “After you get a good 3 or 4 inches of rain, the creek will actually rise and flood out the banks, and pick up all this trash out here and take it downstream.”

James checks another area where they have found lots of illegal dumping, a cul-de-sac off Forrester Parkway. Lee County officials say they are declaring war on dumping. County Code Enforcement is putting out surveillance cameras, to catch dumpers in the act.

 James said “They are out right now. The problem is getting worse. So he is getting more cameras and he will have them out. So anyone going under a bridge thinking no one’s watching, someone will be watching.”

Most of the people they are catching so far are home owners.

 James said “Everyone tells me they are trying to save themselves a little bit of money. And for roughly 2 and a half cents a pound they can take it down to the landfill and avoid a day in court.”

Lee County and state law enforcement promise they will prosecute everyone they catch dumping, as they go high tech, stepping up efforts to stop this environmental crime.

Rangers say Judges are tough on illegal dumpers.

They usually hand out fines and community service that often involves cleaning up trash across the county.

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