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from throughout the county will be
volunteering to help clean-up dumps which
spring up around the county like the one which
started here recently in the Hurricane
District. The county cleared some trees
(pictured) from the William P. Harris Park.
Hurricane Supervisor William P. Harris said he
instructed a county employee to take the trees
to the property above, which the county owns.
After the trees were placed there, however,
others came along and dumped trash on the
property. Litter Control Officer Jerry Ward
said names were found in the trash, allowing
the litter control office to track down the
resident, who agreed to return tot he scene
and collect the garbage for proper disposal.
Harris said he would see to it the trees are
removed from the property and properly
disposed of at the Hoot Owl landfill which
accepts brush and trees.
Program Offered in Region
Area citizens, groups or organizations interested in assisting
in ridding Southwest Virginia hillsides of unwanted trash and
garbage have an opportunity to help through the new
Adopt-A-Dump program being offered in the region.
residents in Southwest Virginia know where unsightly dumps are
located and in some cases where they are still being used
today. All three member counties of the Cumberland Plateau
Regional Waste Management Authority have implemented
anti-litter campaigns focused on cleanup of identified illegal
dumps and to date, member counties (Buchanan, Dickenson and
Russell) and their Litter Control offices have cleaned
100-plus dumps. In 2004, the member counties started a joint
partnership known as the Tri-County Illegal Dump Cleanup
program utilizes resources from the three counties to clean up
illegal dumps within all three counties.
Since the creation of the project, 13 regional dumps
have been cleaned, removing approximately 138.6 tons of
improperly disposed of solid waste (garbage, automobiles,
January 2007, the three counties built on the regional
initiative by promoting a new anti-litter clean-up program
targeted for citizens and community groups-known as the
new Adopt-A-Dump program is designed so that citizen groups,
civic organizations and community groups can assist their
litter control offices with cleaning up some of the dumps now
in existence. To date more than 600 illegal dumps have been
inventoried and placed on a map. Buchanan County has mapped
140 so far with a mapping completion date expected later this
year. Dickenson County has mapped a total 252 dumps; and
Russell County has mapped 298.
Of the sites identified, the majority of the sites are
classified as being small dumps.
to Cumberland Plateau Regional Waste Management
Regional Litter and Recycling Coordinator Toby Edwards,
dumps comprised the majority of our survey and are by
definition sites that can be cleaned in one to two hours by a
group of citizens, scout group or civic organization.”
program works as follows:
an interested citizen or group may contact their local
Control and Recycling office with their interest and the
number of dumps they would like to adopt;
the litter control officers will determine what area of the
county the group or citizen will be conducting their clean-up.
the initial contact, the Litter Control Officer will notify
the citizen of the dump site location and with the appropriate
Adopt-A-Dump waiver form and scheduling of their event; and
the citizen or group then notifies the Litter Control Officer
that the cleanup event has been completed and the number of
trash they collected or weight they deposited at the Solid
Waste Transfer Station.
County Litter Control Officer Jerry Ward noted that in order
for the counties to be cleaned, all must work together.
governments, businesses and community groups call this home
and together we can address the issue of dumping,” Ward
Mullins from Dickenson County’s Litter Control Office,
explained that to stop the litter problem, citizens need to be
engaged in the process of cleaning the dumps.
you clean up a dump, the understanding of how big a problem
dumps are in our counties isn’t so clear,” Mullins said.
however, it becomes evident.
Ward and Mullins encouraged citizen to report those who chose
you see someone throwing something over the hill . . .
call us," they both noted. "We will see that
it is taken care of." Dumping is against the law even if
it’s on private property. State law notes that improperly
disposed municipal solid waste means dumping of
trash/garbage/abandoned cars at a site that’s not a
permitted disposal site.
An example of a permitted site is a designated drop off
site, landfill or transfer station.
Those who own property are ultimately responsible for
clean-up, but in most cases, citizens are not the ones dumping
the trash. This
is why the counties have been assisting property owners with
clean-up activities and are not charging them for something
their neighbors have put on them.
report litter bugs and to learn about the Adopt-A-Dump
program, contact the Buchanan County Litter Control and
Recycling office at 276-935-4574; Dickenson County Litter
Control and Recycling office at 276-835-8806; and the Russell
County Litter Control and Recycling office at 276-889-8000.
Ask If 'Dump' Will Be Cleaned
Property Declared 'Surplus' May Be Sold
Cathy St. Clair
Knox area residents attending a public hearing held Monday to
determine public interest in a piece of surplus real estate in the
Knox District between Sycamore Branch and Kershaw Branch of
Guesses Fork were interested not so much in purchasing the
property, as they were in finding out who will be responsible for
cleaning it up.
Matney told members of the board he owned property surrounding
the piece of property in question, which he described as
"a trash dump."
lot of hazardous materials have been put in there and I think
somebody should clean it up," Matney said. "There are
transformers, mine batteries and vehicles."
wanted to know if the property was sold if the coal company which
has expressed an interest in buying it will be responsible for
cleaning it up.
month's supervisor's meeting, it was noted a coal company had
expressed interest in buying the 15.846 tract of land, however,
board members agreed they could not sell the property without
first declaring it to be surplus and opening any potential sale of
the property to the public.
noted last month that the board had not been aware the county
owned the property until the coal company approached the county
about the possibility of the company purchasing it.
the coal company clean it up?" Matney asked during Monday's
Administrator W.J. Caudill said no decision had been made yet on
said hundreds of loads and garbage had been pushed over on to his
Grundy Chairman Carroll Branham asked when the garbage was pushed
on to Matney's property and Matney said it had occurred through
whole county did," he alleged. "Nobody looked after it
and took took care of it."
garbage was dumped on the site not only from Virginia, but he
alleged from West Virginia and Kentucky as well.
Sandy Soil and Water Conservation District Director Bobby Hall,
who was in attendance at Monday's meeting on another matter, said
the Knox property was where the county dumped trash in the 1970s
property was purchased by the county in September 1968.
was a regular trash dump, like Hoot Owl," Hall said, adding
there were people hired and trucks which dumped there. He said he
knew people paid $1 per month and there were two men, he said, who
picked up the garbage at that time.
clean-up, he suggested, was definitely not Matney's responsibility
and he said the dump is one which has been identified by the
Regional Waste Management Authority in need of clean-up.
Justus, who was also in attendance at Monday's hearing, expressed
concern about whether people's well water in the area might be
contaminated as a result of the water run-off from the dump. He
suggested the water needed to be tested.
suggested local residents should be given first priority in
purchasing the land.
noted that if the property is sold, it will be sold at public
auction or by sealed bids submitted to the board.
asked what the coal company wanted with the property and Caudill
said it was his understanding they wanted it to use for a hollow
county didn't know it owned the property until they approached
us," Caudill said of the coal company request for the land.
suggested if the property is sold there could be a stipulation
placed in conjunction with the sale that the buyer must clean it
Grundy Supervisor Roger Rife recommended that Caudill and
Assistant County Attorney Lee Moise pursue the avenues necessary
to identify the clean-up process and the board agreed by consensus
to ask them to do that.