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Rural garbage fines in effect January 1

Crenshaw County residents who do not currently participate in the county’s rural garbage services program will be eligible for a hefty fine, beginning with the new year.

According to Crenshaw County Solid Waste Officer Johnny Hollis, Section 22-27-6(b) of the Code of Alabama requires all rural residents to participate in the program. Advanced Disposal Services has the current garbage disposal contract for the county’s mandatory garbage service program.

“We are launching a full-scale campaign to get the word out that the county’s rural residents who have not signed up for the county’s garbage services by January 1 will have to pay a fine of at least $201,” Hollis explained. “This has been the law for awhile, but I will be writing tickets and giving citations to those who are not in compliance with the law after the new year.”

Hollis said that some rural residents were dumping illegally or were using other people’s garbage cans.

“They’ll also use dumpsters that belong to businesses, and that’s against the law,” he said.

Another way some rural residents have been getting rid of their trash is through illegal burning.

“I’m going to put flyers on the doors of people who are not on service,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to get the word out and make sure that people are informed about the law and the fact that we will be enforcing it after January 1.”

Residents who receive a citation will have to go to court, unless they pay the fine before the court date.

“According to Advanced Disposal, there is an estimated 1,200 residents without garbage services who should have it,” Hollis said.

Even so, County Commissioner Ed Beasley sees extenuating circumstances for some residents.

“I don’t have a problem with two families sharing the same garbage can, for example,” he explained. “That doesn’t bother me.”

Hollis agreed.

“I don’t have a problem with that circumstance either,” Hollis said. “But everyone needs to be aware that we are going to be enforcing this law from now on.”