Macon-Bibb faces fine for landfill violations | News
Macon-Bibb County was hit with a $70,000 fine for landfill violations by the state Environmental Protection Division, according to county manager Dale Walker.
That's after the landfill failed an inspection for the second time in a row on Jan. 23 by the Department of Natural Resources for problems including a lack of erosion control, garbage washed in the waterway, and litter throughout the facility.
During the inspection, the landfill received a 65 percent grade, though it needed a 75 percent score to pass. That's up from 55 percent during an inspection last spring.
Heavy rains and lack of staff and equipment contributed to the failing score, says Larry Dunning, the assistant manager of public works.
"No one wants to have a fine of any kind. But in this business, it's easy to not be in compliance if you don't apply enough equipment or manpower to get the job done," Dunning told 13WMAZ.
He says the landfill is under-staffed four out of six work days, with a crew of nine people.
But Dunning says that's changing now under the newly consolidated government, as the city-county merge doubled the number of workers on some days.
"They've helped us get closer to compliance. They worked on our roads, they helped us with our ditches, they've put in pipe for service water management, they've helped us a lot to get things back into compliance," Dunning said.
In April 2012, the city of Macon paid $35,000 in fines for 19 violations at the landfill.
The landfill passed a November 2012 inspection with a 95 percent rating.
Chris Floore, Macon-Bibb's public affairs director, says the county has created a Department of Solid Waste to focus on remediating the situation at the landfill and getting it back up to code.
Floore says those steps include grading roads, preparing the landfill for grassing and covering exposed garbage with dirt.
Commissioner Mallory Jones, vice chair of Macon-Bibb's facilities and engineering committee, told 13WMAZ's Anita Oh the landfill "has been a recurring problem. We can no longer afford to continue being fined."
The county has 30 days to pay the fine.
Dunning says he expects the landfill will be back up to code by then.