SIPS continues to clean up trash, airport still affected by debris

Published 9:48 pm Friday, August 29, 2014

Ron Harrigan, President of SIPS at the Decatur County Industrial Park, said he was 80 percent done with shipping away the mountain of black trash bags on his property.

The bags, filled with saw and foam dust from SIPS’s process of cutting boards, have been breaking open from UV light and other erosive elements, spreading its contents across the surrounding Decatur County Airport.

Bainbridge resident Doug Young spoke on behalf of the airport at the County Commission meeting on Aug. 12 to raise awareness about the issue and help start discussion about cleaning the trash.

“We have spent a lot of time since this last time and prioritized what we’re doing to rid the problems that are over there,” Harrigan said. “Our prioritization was the black bags, which are breaking down from the ultraviolet (light) and causing 90 percent of the problems.”

According to Harrigan, SIPS has essentially been shut down and all employees have been moving trash for the past two weeks into a tractor-trailer. They have shipped away five trailer loads so far. When employees aren’t loading bags into the trailer, they are re-bagging trash and stacking them.

“We’re working full nine-hour days to rectify and clean up the mess,” Harrigan said. “We’ll finish this week with the baggage, we’re hoping, and we’ll keep working on it.”

As of 2 p.m. Friday, a number of bags still remain on the property.

“I went by there today and there was one person bagging it,” Young said at the County Commission meeting Tuesday. “I don’t know how many people he has working for him. There are five hundred more loads out there.”

During the past two weeks, Rick McCaskill, Executive Director of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Development Authority, has been providing the trailer for Harrigan to load SIPS’s trash into.

“I want Ron to make tons of jobs and tons of money,” Young said. “I think if he was given a date and say have it cleaned up by this, I believe it will be cleaned up faster. Whether it’s three months, six months or something, if it’s not a date in six months there is no history showing us it will be cleaner than it is now.”

Decatur County Chairman Frank Loeffler said for Harrigan to come back every other meeting to continue providing updates on the cleanup’s status.