People continue to dump furniture and other trash at Warren County collection sites, leaving it to employees to clean up.
Director of Public Works Mike Berry updated members of the Board of Supervisors at a work session on Tuesday on the problem and potential solutions. The situation had not changed in the month since Berry gave his first report to the board on April 13 about the trash at the facilities.
County employees reported problems with people dumping furniture by the facility at a commuter parking lot. Crews have to take a trailer to the facility on a regular basis, especially after a Sunday evening or on Wednesday when the site is closed, just to pick up furniture prohibited by the county, Berry said. When the are gates closed, people dump trash outside the facility, Berry added.
Interim County Administrator Edwin Daley told supervisors that the plan now would include opening the gates to see if that helps. County workers will look at installing more fencing at collection sites. The county also would put up more signs, once approved by the board, at the facilities, Daley said. They also would look into putting open containers at the sites.
The county also will look at potential locations for a new collection site and the possibility of opening the facilities on Wednesdays and increasing hours on Sundays, Daley said.
Fork District Supervisor Archie A. Fox asked how much it would cost the county to open the collection sites seven days per week. The county closes the sites on Wednesdays. Berry estimated the county would spend approximately $35,000 a year to open the sites on Wednesdays and increase hours at the Bentonville transfer station. Fox said he thought it would be better to open on Wednesdays than to continue to fight the problem. It would cost an additional $16,000-$20,000 a year to extend Sunday hours to 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Berry said.
Sheriff’s Office Lt. Robbie Seal occasionally monitors the collection sites, Berry said.
North River District Supervisor Delores R. Oates said the county provides the collection sites as a convenience for residents. Oates said on Sundays she often sees trash piles at the collection site near her church.
“So we need the community to understand we need to be better stewards of the things that are provided to them,” Oates said.
In response to a question from Chairwoman Cheryl L. Cullers, Berry said people could damage the collection equipment if they overload it.
Cullers said a marketing and informational campaign might help the county relieve the problem if people do their due diligence and use the sites as allowed. Enforcement by the Sheriff’s Office might also help.
Seal said he monitors convenience sites, often when they are closed on Wednesdays, to deter people from dumping trash. When people drive up to the site and see him in his marked vehicle, they turn around, Seal said.
“A deterrent is making it less convenient for people to dump their trash,” Seal said.
However, Seal said leaving the small gate open could lead to more problems. He explained that people who see the small gate open might try to toss bags of trash over the fence, where they can snag and create a mess.