‘Dump road’ frustrates county

Published 7:54 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An illegal dump on Deer Creek Road in Atmore also included a sign with a Bible verse.

Escambia County officials are hoping to find some help from the public to find out who dumped debris on Deer Creek Road — just hours after a road crew had cleaned it.

County environmental officer Nancy Barton said the debris — which includes an old wading pool and even a sign with a Biblical quote — was dumped less that a day after a county road crew cleaned it. Barton said the garbage was dumped sometime after Feb. 14.

“The county has three road crews, and the sheriff’s department has one,” Barton said. “All four crews are busy every day picking up litter and illegally dumped garbage on the roads of Escambia County, and yet it is almost impossible to find a clean road in the county, because folks throw it out faster than the crews can pick it up. Please do what you can to protect our county.”

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Illegal dumping is a Class C misdemeanor, Barton said, punishable by a $250 fine plus court costs for the first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense.

But Barton said the county doesn’t always want to take offenders to court — if they clean up the dump, get garbage service and don’t dump again, she would prefer that route.

But the dump on Deer Creek Road is especially offensive because it simply happens over and over again, Barton said.

“This road is what we consider to be a dump road,” she said. “There are people in the community who feel like this is a good place to go. Until we can get people to understand this is a problem, it will keep happening.”

Because an Escambia County jail crew is among those who clean up the illegal dumps, Barton said she thinks some residents think it is free labor that is doing the work.

“But inmate labor is not free,” she said. “The county has to pay for it, so ultimately the public is paying for it.”

If anyone saw someone dump the garbage and can identify them and be willing to testify to it can call Barton at 251-446-9406, ext. 139.