City of Greenville officials are ramping up on their efforts to put a stop to illegal dumping.
An illegal dumping task force meeting convened on Thursday with Mayor Errick Simmons, Police Chief Delando Wilson, Fire Chief Ruben Brown, Planning Director Carlon Williams, Code Enforcer Daryl Richards Sr. and others in attendance.
The council has discussed the issue of uncleanliness, trash, litter and debris around the city on several occasions and on May 19 adopted an ordinance, which states:
n All contractors (other than owner/tenant) must obtain Privilege License from City Clerk’s Office. Must present $25 Liability Insurance with the City of Greenville as additional insured;
n All contractors must purchase a $25 tree permit from Planning Department before cutting down or trimming a tree (one permit per address);
n All contractors who fail to haul off debris and provide verification from a certified landfill as proof of dumping. If outside city limits, must provide location of site;
n If contractors fail to haul debris to certified landfill, the property owner/occupant must provide the contractor’s contact information to the city. If the owner/occupant fails to provide the information of the contractor, the owner/occupant will be responsible for hauling debris to a certified landfill and provide proof of dumping or citation will be issued to owner/occupant;
n If a property owner/occupant trims a tree or cuts down a tree themselves, a permit is not required. Owner/occupant may place the tree on right-of-way in the front of their own property, not on the street, for the city to pick up. Limbs should be no more than 5’ in length or 9’’ in diameter; and
n Code Enforcement Officer, Police Department, Fire Department can issue citations for violations of this Ordinance punishable of $1,000 fine for the first offense. Each subsequent offense without a privilege license or permit will be a new and separate offense.
The ordinance also provides that any code enforcers who witness a tree cutting truck, trailers filled with tree limbs, etc. and/or someone cutting down trees, stop and ask for their licenses and permits.
“This was one of several meetings that we’ve had and council members have been actively engaged and involved in these meetings,” Simmons said. “It was a way for us to put all of our heads together to make sure we keep the city clean and green.”
Simmons said he and members of the council went to take a look at some of the problem sites in which illegal dumping and even setting items on fire has been taking place.
Such places include areas along Theobald and Victoria streets.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Lois Hawkins noted the issue of tire dumping in her ward.
“I’m just glad they had the meeting because we do need to address the problem. It’s a big concern of the citizens in Ward 2 and we need to try and find a solution because it does create a blight in our community,” she said.
Ward 6 Councilman James Wilson said the only way they are going to eliminate the problem is if the residents get involved.
“If you see something, tell it. You don’t have to give your name or your phone number,” he said.
Councilman Al Brock said, “The city is currently under a tremendous amount of stress regarding the amount of trash that’s being placed on curbsides.”
He highlighted the fact that people are home much more due to the pandemic and are taking the opportunity to clean their yards, limbs and storage rooms.
“That volume from homeowners has doubled or tripled and it’s putting stress on our employees, our equipment and the cost of dumping,” Brock added. “Then you add the illegal dumping of contractors and tree surgeons and it’s just beyond what the city can handle.”
Brock reiterated what the ordinance outlined as it pertains to contractors and tree surgeons and said the assistance of the community in identifying those who violate it would help significantly.
Simmons said in a statement, “It is our collective duty (residents, businesses, contractors, city employees, and city officials) to keep our city clean and beautiful. I urge all of us to take accountability for our own neighborhoods to keep the area from becoming a dump site.”
Simmons said those in violation will be arrested and if anyone sees something, they can help by reporting it.