Commissioner battles illegal dumping on blighted Macon block | News
On Churchill Street off Mercer University Drive, piles of garbage gather, as abandoned as the homes they're thrown at.
"It's a poor eyesight for the neighborhood," said longtime neighbor Larry Harden. "Bathroom commodes, tires, you name it, they bring it over here and just leave it."
Rubber rots, cotton peeks out of cloth. and the smell of garbage saturates the street.
"It makes me sick, to see stuff like this especially in my neighborhood," Harden said.
Fed up with the illegal dumping, Harden asked Macon-Bibb County to help.
The county's solid waste department cleaned up the end of Churchill Street on Monday.
By Thursday, the mess was back.
"This is a shame. this is a shame man, and I don't know, this is a lack of morals and ethics, we've got to take more pride in our community and just not do this type of stuff," Commissioner Virgil Watkins, who represents this district, said. "There are plenty of opportunities in terms of landfill and dumpsters all over the city."
Officials say unfortunately, this is a county-wide problem. Just last week, the solid waste department picked up nearly 40,000 pounds of trash on Center Street off Gray Highway.
But as soon as they're cleared, the piles sprout up again.
"Already [on Churchill Street], we've got a return of trash in just a three-day period," Watkins said.
The three abandoned homes on the block has become a magnet for illegal dumping.
Watkins is proposing that the blighted end of the road be blocked off to the public and he's asking for more police patrol.
"The fact is, this area really isn't being used anymore," he said. "The only reason people are coming in this area is to dump or do other illegal things."
Blocking off the street would require a 30-day period of posting signs letting neighbors know about the possible closure and holding a public hearing to allow their comment.
He says those who are caught illegally dumping in neighborhoods could face a $500 fine.
You can report illegal dumping, if you see it, to Bibb County Sheriff's Office at 478-751-7500 or to Macon-Bibb County's SeeClickFix.