Citizen complaints over landfill continue
Talk of the Grady Road landfill is peaking within county lines, and citizen’s discontent with the odor and sight of the massive garbage heap is reaching its boiling point with at least two local residents.
While the county commissioners are aware of the problem posed by the landfill, progress has been deemed insufficient by locals.
Specifically, citizens Glenn Campbell and Ed Burnley shared stories of living alongside the reeking landfill during delegations directed to the county commissioners at a recent work session.
The landfill sits at Rockmart’s 316 Grady Road, where the mountain of waste’s unprecedented growth continues to serve as a point of concern for officials and citizens.
Campbell has stepped up to tell Commissioners about his problems before, including run-off water that comes onto his property during particularly rainy times in Polk County. Waste Industries officials have worked on the problems before, but he came before the to remind them that the conditions persist.
“You’ve got buzzards out there,” Campbell said taking the podium. “The odor is continuous. You got truck traffic. You finally did fix the road- that road’s not made to run hundreds of tractor trailers. It’ll be the same way in six months. The odor’s terrible.”
“I got COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.) I need clean air. I don’t need polluted air,” Campbell continued. “And I’m about a quarter of a mile from it, and we need to do something about it.
“The citizens and our communities tried to bring it to y’all’s attention, but you ignored it. It’s time for y’all to step up to bat and help us out. I had clean air out there before y’all started this.”
Campbell also described the area’s current state of affairs, as well as insight on how the landfill become the monster it is now.
“When you get more garbage, you get more traffic. Every other truck out there does not have a readable tag. Georgia law says you’re supposed to be able to read the tag from a certain distance,” Campbell said. “That’s Georgia law. That’s not word for word, but that’s what it says. You bring the masses of the garbage from all over. You don’t know what it is.”
Burnley took a similar approach during his time before the podium during the Dec. 11 work session by pointing out financial inconsistencies surrounding the landfill and showing disdain for how the situation was being handled.
“Who’s guarding the chicken house? The fox? Someone is not paying attention,” Burnley said. “We’re paying for someone’s incompetence. There’s truck after truck coming out there, and we’re getting $ 1,300,000. That’s only what? Half a million more?”
After Campbell and Burnley spoke up about the landfill again, commissioners provided an update about their interactions with the county’s growing garbage heap, previous landfill work that was done, and future plans to meet with relevant industries.
Perhaps the biggest, most noticeable update is the landfill issue being guaranteed a spot on the monthly work sessions until settled.
“We did meet a week and a half to two weeks ago. We had an exhaustive four-hour meeting,” county manager Matt Denton said. “We went over — in great detail — numerous items that, in our opinion, from an operational standpoint, can and must be improved. From a compliance standpoint, things that can and must be done. So, we anticipate having direct communication, before the end of the year, with waste industries. We will host them here in Cedartown with a meeting in January and go over these items and report back to the public. But it’ll ( updates) come to you on a monthly basis.”
The commission has addressed recent landfill-related issues during their county retreat, as questions were raised why a report due to the state giving estimates of the remaining capacity, and also over reporting requirements for increased levels of Molybdenum processed out of wastewater during their November session.
Editor Kevin Myrick contributed to this story.
Commissioners hold brief discussions before the start of their work session on Dec. 11.