Published 4:27 pm Friday, July 21, 2017

It appears that some people who reside near the Earle May Boat Basin and nature trail are taking advantage of the city trashcans there by illegally dumping their household garbage in them. This is a direct violation of Municipal Code 66-24. The city and county have basically enacted laws reflective of State of Georgia laws.

Are people aware that it is illegal, and that violators risk being issued citations for illegal dumping? They should know that a citation brings with it a mandatory appearance in court – either the Municipal Court or the Magistrate Court, if it is in the county. Plus they may be required to pay a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000.

Deputy Marshall Trey Mock of the Bainbridge-Decatur Marshal Office, recently  found a trash can at the Boat Basin that was overflowing with garbage bags. After digging through eight bags, he found several pieces of mail, including some with tax information and a receipt that led him to an address on Saint T. Street in the Meadowbrook subdivision off Highway 97 South. After several attempts, he was able to make contact with the individual responsible and issued a citation with a mandatory court date. “If you leave any article of mail in trash that ties you to the dump, you can be cited,” he explains. They do deal with each complaint on a case by case basis and try to help people resolve the problem.

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Mock states that city trashcans are placed at the Boat Basin and along the walking trail and camp ground area solely for the use of park guests and for special events.

He said they receive complaints on a regular basis from city maintenance workers in the park and campgrounds who report seeing people driving through the campsites and stopping to leave their garbage in the cans.

However, Mock explains this is not a problem limited to the park areas. Littering and dumping of trash is a county-wide problem. “The city and county both are working together to try to clean up this community. We take pride in what we do,” he explained. “We are all certified public safety officers and firefighters who are able to investigate and make arrests.” He adds that littering is a year-long problem, but they see higher incidences during the migrant worker season. “They are here a short while, then dump their trash and leave the area.”

Mock advises all individuals that the city and county both have landfills where they can dump their garbage for a small fee. If they reside outside the city limit pickup routes they can also contact Seminole Sanitation and set up an account for a regular trash pickup. The city and county are both working with a recycling company to handle larger trash, such as old appliances The problem, according to Mock is people don’t want to pay to have their trash and garbage properly taken care of.

The Bainbridge-Decatur Marshals’ Office is a busy office with many responsibilities.

They enforce property codes, building and construction codes, making sure builders are licensed and certified, as well as enforcing litter and illegal dumping issues.

It is manned by three men. In addition to Mock are John Mills who basically covers complaints in the county, and Keith Pollock, who is the building inspector for both the city and county.