By Tina Covington / For The Onlooker / tcovington.ci.bay-minette.al.us
BAY MINETTE, Alabama — The City of Bay Minette is seeking the public’s help in reducing the number of illegal dumping locations in the community. Police Chief Al Tolbert said his department will soon begin issuing citations for violators and/or making arrests depending on the severity of the offense.
Illegal dumping is a misdemeanor or felony punishable by fine and, in some cases, jail time. Fines start at $250 for minor offenses and can reach up to thousands of dollars in some situations. Violators could also be held responsible for the clean-up. Criminal littering is a Class C misdemeanor. The minimum fine for the first conviction is $250 and the fine for the second and any subsequent conviction is $500 for each conviction.
Illegal dumping affects the environment and also causes public health concerns. Adverse health risks come into play when dangerous chemicals, such as automobile fluids, household cleaners, industrial wastes, appliances containing chemicals (e.g. refrigerators), and tires, are disposed of illegally. The chemicals leach into the soil and area waterways.
These dumping sites are also the ideal conditions for rodents, vermin, and mosquitoes. Disease-carrying rodents pose a major health hazard to anyone living nearby. These sites also create drainage issues and clogs culverts and can result in residential and street flooding, which could cause personal property loss. It also has a negative impact on home and property values.
Tolbert said dumping affects everyone. “Out of sight, out of mind is often the mindset of people who dump waste illegally, but that’s far from reality. Cleaning up, monitoring, and enforcing instances of illegal dumping cost taxpayers a significant amount of money each year,” Tolbert said. “The time, resources, and equipment used is a significant impact on our budget every year on illegal dump sites cleanups.”
The City’s Public Works Department offers weekly trash pick-up and oversees the curbside collection of yard debris and bulky waste items. The Baldwin County Solid Waste Department has placed recycling containers at two locations: Bay Minette City Hall on D’Olive Street and the Baldwin County Commission Administration Building on West Third Street.
To learn about these garbage and debris collection and schedules, visit cityofbayminette.org/Public-Works-Department
To report illegal dumping to the Bay Minette Police Department, call 251-580-2559 or email to email@example.com.