Judy Bowles, director of Keep Albany Dougherty County Beautiful, considers debris left illegally on in the Cedar Lakes subdivision. (Staff Photo: Jim West)
ALBANY — Michael D. Sanders, 500 Longbow Drive, was cited in September, for unlawful dumping and ordered to pay $500 or clean the right of way of his debris, and also that of others within a one-mile radius of the violation, according to Judy Bowles, director of Keep Albany-Dougherty County Beautiful.
Sanders opted for the cleaning. As he began his task on Cedar Circle in southwest Albany, where he’d deposited his original debris, the news outlets were alerted by Bowles. Her goal was to help bring attention to the city’s dumping problems, she said. As reporters arrived at the location, Sanders left the scene.
“He bolted real quick,” Bowles said, scanning the debris along the wooded roadside. “There must be 50 coat hangers just right there in that spot. There was an old mattress over there. I guess the gentleman picked it up.”
Near the hangers was an assortment of items including laundry baskets, an old tire and discarded paper materials. Bowles said the area was cleaner Wednesday that it usually is.
“Code enforcement patrols this area, and it’s a really big dumping problem for us,” Bowles said. “Public works comes out and cleans this area often because people come here at night to dump. There have been deer carcasses out here. I’ve seen dead dogs, washing machines, refrigerators — you name it.”
“People will ride down alleys in the city, just to find a place to unload their trash,” said Robert Carter, Albany chief code enforcement officer, who was also at the scene. “It’s really not necessary. “Garbage collection in the city will pick up as much as three cubic yards of debris every two weeks as part of your regular routine, so there was no reason for (the Cedar Circle trash) to be dumped.”
Also, Bowles said Dougherty County residents may deliver up to 250 pounds of debris to the county landfill each day and not be charged.
Bowles is a driving force behind Mayor Dorothy Hubbard’s call to action against unlawful dumping and littering, and says she’s determined to help people understand the benefits of a clean habitat and also the penalties of wrongful dumping.
“We’re serious about enforcement of these laws,” Bowles said, “If we catch you (as a violator), not only will you pay a penalty, but we’ll release all your information to media.”