State Representative wants increased penalties for illegal dumping

A state representative wants to crack down on illegal dumping. She says trash is accumulating in unincorporated areas of Jefferson County, especially Forestdale.

"I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired of dealing with trash, litter and debris."

State Representative Juandalynn Givan says illegal dumping is a problem in Forestdale.

"There has been accumulations over the last few years."

Givan says the county is responsible for making sure these streets are clean, safe and sanitary - but there's a lack in service.

"I understand the bankruptcy took place two years ago, so there were some serious cuts in county services as it relates to employment and staffing."

She says the needs of the people should not stop.

"It makes the community look bad."

Wendell Jones says when it rains, trash backs up in the local park and in yards. he and other taxpayers.. feel neglected.

Jones says, "Somebody needs to come in here and do some things. now, I've seen them out here, but I don't see much results."

Givan says those doing the dumping must also be held accountable.

Wendell Jones says one neighbor got so fed up, they actually picked up a bag of trash, reached inside grabbed a letter with a name and address and took the bag and dropped it off in their yard."

Givan is looking at sponsoring tougher legislation to serve as a deterrent.

"I'm going to be working with legislative reference services at the state to see what can be done to increase penalties and if there can be jail time."

Right now violators are fined 500-dollars. Givan believes more signs and police presence could make a difference. She hopes volunteers will join her Saturday to clean-up the area.

Givan will discuss clean up plans in detail Monday. The Jefferson County Manager could not be reached for comment.