Ci­ti­zen com­plaints over land­fill con­tinue

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - SJ Cor­re­spon­dent By Sean Wil­liams

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.

Sean Wil­liams / Stan­dard Jour­nal

Com­mis­sion­ers hold brief dis­cus­sions be­fore the start of their work ses­sion on Dec. 11.

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