Archived Story

Illegal dumping

Published 11:45am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Recycling center may end after-hours drop-offs due to unapproved trash piles

Although the Alexander City Recycling Center has offered after-hour drop-offs for quite some time, the actions of a few might bring about an end to this policy.

“In the past three weeks we have begun to have a lot of materials left that aren’t supposed to be there,” said city engineer Gerard Brewer. “The past couple of weeks have been pretty predictable. When our workers get there Monday morning, it looks like a bomb went off.”

Brewer said that after-hours drop-offs haven’t caused many problems until recently.

“A lot of people utilize our after hour drop offs,” Brewer said. “As with everything else, 99 percent of people using it are on the up and up and are being good stewards. It is the 1 percent that is dropping off (unapproved) garbage that might get this shut down.”

Brewer said garbage is being left on the ground and being placed in dumpsters on site.

“These dumpsters are not for public use,” Brewer said, adding that these receptacles are used by the center to cull recyclables from unapproved items.

Brewer said they have tried to tolerate the behavior to try to keep hours as convenient as they can, but dumping has gotten worse.

“We are considering cutting back to regular working hours, which are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.,” Brewer said. “This isn’t real convenient for people who work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It becomes even less convenient after Memorial Day when we cut to 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.”

The center is equipped to accept cardboard, newspaper, No. 1 and No. 2 plastic, scrap metal, tin and aluminum. Brewer said unless patrons stop dumping unauthorized waste on the site, they may be forced to do away with after-hours drop-offs.

“The only alternative is to put a fence around it and shut it down after-hours,” Brewer said.

Doing so, Brewer said, would also eliminate the potential for weekend drop-offs.

Brewer said that they will continue to monitor the problem. Police have been called upon to try to stop illegal dumping.

If you witness illegal dumping occurring at the recycling center, contact police dispatch at 256-397-1023.