Richmond County Solid Waste Enforcement Officer Allen Hodges reports that in 2012, the county saw a normal amount of roadside trash and trash dumping.
Throughout the year, 15 illegal dumping sites were reported, and those were investigated. Hodges said he can usually look at the trash and figure out who it belongs to, and when contacted, “It’s always somebody else,” said Hodges.
“Nobody ever takes the blame for it,” he said. “It was a neighbor or someone else who ‘took the trash off’ — but they are still responsible.”
There were less community service workers than normal last year, according to Hodges, and they worked 1,342 hours collecting trash.
Hodges issued 13 warning notices for burning trash, which is illegal in the state of North Carolina, he said. That includes anything that isn’t natural, like leaves, and leaves cannot be burned within an area where someone with breathing problems lives.
Hodges said he issued no citations for littering. Instead, he speaks to the person and has them clean up the litter, and finds he gets more effective results that way.
Last year, 472 tires were collected from what Hodges said were dumping sites. According to Hodges, “That’s a lot of tires.”
In Richmond County, only one employee collects trash from roadsides on a regular basis and last year he collected 1,146 bags of trash by walking 211 miles, which Hodges said “is from here to the beach and back, so that’s a lot of miles.”