County targets those littering and dumping trash throughout the County
By Eugenia Jones
McCreary County is getting tough on trash.
“Since the beginning of this administration, we’ve been trying to get control of the garbage problem,” McCreary County Judge Executive Jimmie “Bevo” Greene stated. “We’ve now got an enforcement officer, and I know a lot of people, especially in the schools, are getting out to help clean up the county. I can’t say it enough though, we’ve all got to do our part to get things cleaned up.”
During this month’s Fiscal Court meeting, McCreary County Code Enforcement Officer Stephen McKinney reported on four citations, three new cases, and three recently cleaned-up dump sites. McKinney now has full enforcement power allowing him to immediately write citations to those who violate the local Solid Waste Management Ordinance (830.6.) Since McKinney is now able to write citations directly from the Code Enforcement truck, he is not required to go through the county attorney first. The County’s Solid Waste Management went into effect on January 1, 2018; however it not been consistently enforced in the past.
County Attorney Austin Price shared details of three cases recently charged with criminal littering in McCreary County. All three pled guilty and received stiff penalties including ninety days incarceration, conditionally discharged for two years on the following conditions: restitution of cleaning up their dump sites (within ten days), total compliance with the law, no further trash violations for two years, sign up and maintain continuous trash pickup for two years (with proof furnished within seven days of entry of the Order), and a fine of $250.00 which may be satisfied by completing 50 hours of community service assigned by the County Attorney’s Office.
“People want these cases prosecuted,” Price stated. “And I intend to do it.”
McCreary County’s Solid Waste Management Ordinance relates to the collection of solid waste and provides penalties. It mandates the County provide for the collection of all residential and commercial waste in McCreary County by means of a house-to-house collection franchise and/or acceptance at the solid waste transfer station. Property owners are responsible for participating in the franchise collection. All solid waste of any origin must be disposed of in sites approved and permitted by appropriate state agencies.
The ordinance identifies specific practices that are prohibited. It is unlawful for a person to:
-dispose of any garbage, refuse, rubbish, or debris by dumping on any premise in the county with or without consent of the owner. (Exceptions are only those allowable by state regulations.)
-fail to have solid waste collected as provided for in the ordinance.
-burn solid waste except in an approved incinerator or unless a variance has been granted by the appropriate air pollution control agency.
-deposit solid waste in a container owned by someone else, unless written permission has been received by the owner to do so.
-dispose of any dead animals in containers to be collected by the county or its agent or in any dumpster.
-interfere with solid waste collection or transportation equipment.
-dispose of any solid waste in a manner not approved by the County or the Kentucky Department of Environmental protection.
-violate any section of the ordinance.
It is also unlawful for any individual or business entity to collect or dispose of solid waste without the approval of the McCreary County Solid Waste Management District and the McCreary County Fiscal Court.
In an effort to help citizens dispose of large household items, the county has scheduled free bulk drop off days (no tires) at the solid waste transfer station in Stearns. The drop-off days for bulk items will be April 16 (8:00-4:00) and April 17 (8:00-12:00.)
The County has also set up an anonymous tip line for callers to report illegal burning of solid waste. The number to call to leave a report is 376-0267.