Furniture and various building materials have been unceremoniously dumped at 1315 W. Oakridge. Ave. in Albany. (Laura Williams)
ALBANY — Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Executive Director Judy Bowles said Thursday that workers with Public Works Code Enforcement have discovered dozens of tires, furniture pieces, building materials and 11 garbage bags abandoned at 1315 W. Oakridge Ave.
Mail in the bags identified their owner as Amanda Webb of 2613 Great Oak St. Officials immediately issued Webb a citation and she has since removed the bags from the property, Bowles said.
“This is only one of several sites that we have found in this area, but it’s one that we have been able to identify,” Bowles said. “The city is cracking down on littering and illegal dump sites, and there are serious consequences for those responsible.”
Webb must appear in court Aug. 22, where a judge will determine the next course of action. Possible consequences Webb faces include a $1,000 penalty, mandatory cleanup of the area within a 1-mile radius, community service or jail time.
“Besides being very visually unattractive, areas like this are also a health hazard,” said Bowles. “The tires especially are a real problem, because they become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, rodents and snakes.
“This is our community and we don’t want it to look like this. Sites like this create huge economic development problems. If we want to bring jobs to this area, we can’t have places that look like this and still expect industries to want to come here.”
While county residents are not required to utilize standard garbage collection services, there are multiple nearby locations available for authorized disposal of trash.
According to Bowles, the city of Albany has three drop-off recycling centers located in east, west and downtown Albany, and a landfill that can accept up to 250 pounds of waste per person each day. “It’s completely free of charge, so there’s really no excuse,” she added.
Citizens are encouraged to report illegal dumping sites by dialing 311 to give officials information. When culprits are identified, they are responsible for cleaning up the area. Otherwise, taxpayers pay for cleanup and removal of items on city property, Bowles said.
In response to this growing problem, Bowles noted, “Citizens who live here should be appalled by areas like this. This is our home, and how we live as a community reflects on all of us.”