A Mountain Of Trash PDF Print E-mail
News - Local News
Thursday, 13 July 2017 13:34

County Trying To Keep Up With 

Volume Of Trash Being Discarded
“It gives the prisoners something to do” is what one Chattooga County resident said when The News wrote an editorial about the unsightly amount of trash on the side of the roadways in the county several years ago.
The reader said that the county jail prisoners that pick up the trash wouldn’t have anything to do if they didn’t throw out the trash. The resident never thought how unsightly the trash looks until the crew can get around to all the roadways in the county.
The crew, depending on how many prisoners at the jail can qualify, picks up on different roads around the county and sometimes those roadways yield up to a ton of trash in a single day, most of the time the amount runs up to hundreds of pounds every day.
Earlier this month, picking up around the Spring Creek dumpsters and the area, the crew picked up 2,720 pounds of trash in one day. A couple of days earlier, they picked up 1,260 pounds on Roberts Street and were not even able to finish the entire road. They finished the road the next day – that accounts for more than two tons of trash in two days.
Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader said, “We can pick up a road and in a week’s time, it needs picked up again. It’s terrible.”
The sheriff said he realizes that some trash comes from unsecured beds of pickup trucks.
“A large portion of the trash is like fast food and drinks and plastic bottles – stuff that could be carried to a trash can,” Sheriff Schrader said.
He said that in his family’s car, they take a plastic Walmart sack and hang it on the glove box. We take it out at night and throw it in the dumpster.
Schrader said it was a shame to see the amount of trash that is picked up on county roads.
“We can’t keep up with it,” he added. “We try to coordinate with the county as much as we can and Joe (Reed) is good about letting us know so we can pick up county roads before they mow, so it won’t make so much of a mess. We can’t stay caught up.”
He said he was posting on Facebook for awhile the amount of pounds of trash they pick up.
Schrader said it seemed like there were several roads that are used for cut through roads and they seem to have a lot of trash – Harrisburg Road and Butler Dairy Road, to name a couple that are picked up a lot.
“I just can’t wrap my mind around what would make someone roll their window down and toss out their trash when you can just keep it in your car and put it in a bag until you get home,” Sheriff Schrader said. 
He added that Chattooga County has so many beautiful roads especially in the fall when the leaves start turning but they have trash on them.
Schrader said the sheriff’s department doesn’t get many complaints of motorists seeing someone throwing trash from their cars or trucks.
“I think that people will look and if they don’t see anything coming, they throw their trash out,” Sheriff Schrader added. “If we see them or if we find a paper with their name or address or their having a legitimate reason that if someone else taking their trash off, we will cite them.”
He said that the bad part of littering is they have to see them do it and obviously they are not going to throw it out with a car behind them.
“That’s what makes the enforcement part of it more difficult,” he said. “We just have to see them throw it out the window, short of finding something with their names on it.”
Butch Gardner is the driver of the bus that takes the prisoners around the county to pick up the roads. They are screened before they can be on the detail. He has been doing that job for the past two years.
“They don’t get give me any hard-nosed criminals,” Gardner said. “Very few times he has ever had any problems with any of the prisoners on the detail.
He has had 115 prisoners to be on the detail in the past two years.
“They try to do mostly child support prisoners,” Gardner added. “They are pretty good workers.”
He said that every once in awhile he gets a crew that doesn’t work as well as others. Most of the prisoners stay on the detail two or three weeks to a month before they are released.
“In the past two years that trash problem has been terrible and I really don’t know any solution to solving that problem,” Gardner said.
He said that if they could catch some people littering and put a stiff fine on them and show that they mean business, it would solve part of it.
Gardner says they pick up any and everything on the county’s roadways: McDonald’s fast food sacks and wrappers, beer bottles, beer cans, tires, etc.
“We can’t go on private property,” he added. “It has slowed some in certain areas.”
The prisoners find tools all the time and on a couple of occasions have found $20 bill and a few pocket knives.
The crew picked up an amazing amount of trash just during the month of June. Besides the track, the crew does other work like mowing at the sheriff’s office and the courthouse three times during the month. 
Roads picked up and the amount of trash each day were: On June 13 they picked up trash on the hill beside the transfer station shed, picked up Sloppy Floyd Lake Road, and picked up Ragland Road – 740 pounds; June 14 – Wildlife Lake Road and Sardis Church Road – 980 pounds; June 15 – took inmate cans to Trion scrap, cleaned up at Spring Creek dumpsters, picked up back lot at transfer station, picked up Unity Church Road – 360 pounds; June 19 – picked up Raccoon Creek Road, Lyerly Dam Road, Evans Road and one mile of Lick Skillet Road – 520 pounds; June 20 – picked up Rossville Boulevard, Thomas Road, from golf course to Welcome Hill Baptist Church, Cumming Road and West Tate Road – 660 pounds; June 21 – cleaned around dumpsters at transfer station, picked up from Traci’s Tanning to Benny’s, Harrisburg Road and McConnell Road – 640 pounds; June 23 – picked up a load of trash on Roberts Road – 1,260 pounds; June 26 – cleaned up around dumpsters at transfer station, finished Roberts Road, picked up at Spring Creek dumpsters – 2,720 pounds; June 27 – picked up Narrows Road – 1,000 pounds; June 28 – picked up trash from 911 to Food Pantry, took load of food from Save-A-Lot to Food Pantry and picked up on Rocky Hollow Road, 700 pounds; June 29 – finished Rocky Hollow Road, 580 pounds and Sunset Drive, 1,000 pounds, which included trash and lots of used building materials.

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