City cracks down on illegal dumping
“We don’t want to have to close down the site; we want this to be a service to the city of Fairfield,” said streets superintendent Darrel Bisgard about the community compost site at South 20th Street and Jackson Avenue.
Lately, Bisgard said, the site has been riddled with wood products, such as fencing, boards and railroad ties and also trash — none of which, are suitable for dumping at the site.
“Don’t bring in wood products,” Bisgard said. “Wood fencing has metal nails and bolts in it that we can’t put through the tub grader — it knocks some of the teeth out, and we’ll have to pay for that.”
Suitable materials that can be brought to the site are limited to tree-brush of up to 2 feet in diameter, leaves, grass and garden waste.
“They can load garden waste on the back of their truck and bring it in; it doesn’t have to be bagged,” Bisgard said, adding that plastic bags at the site had also been a problem for the tub grader.
Bisgard said people are also illegally dropping their garbage off at the site.
“It takes manpower to clean up the trash, load it up and take it to the dump — it’s costing the city more money,” he said, adding that he also has to pass by the site daily to ensure that trash isn’t being piled up.
“When there’s a pile there, it builds, and people just keep bringing their trash,” he said.
Bisgard said the streets department recently sorted through some trash left at the site and found mail that belonged to a culprit.
“We took it to the [Jefferson County] Law Center, and they contacted them and told them to clean up their trash,” Bisgard said, commenting that most of the time, the trash doesn’t have any identifying information.
Fairfield Police Capt. Colin Smith said those who are found dumping illegally would have to appear in court.
“It would be a civil misdemeanor, but they would have to go to court,” said Smith said. “The court would set the fine.”
Bisgard is encouraging community members to be vigilant and look out for those who could be dumping at the compost site illegally.
“Take down their license plate number and give it to the law center,” he said.
Bisgard said contractors should not be dumping at the site.
“They can’t bring anything at all, but they can take things out,” he said. “We’re having a problem with that, although not so much as we have in the past.”
Bisgard said the streets department is working on clearer signage to show what is and isn’t acceptable to dump at the site.
The gates to the compost site are unlocked and will remain open 24 hours a day to the public as long as the rules of the site are followed.
Residents desiring compost should make an appointment by calling 472-4750.
“We load at 3 p.m. Monday and Friday, but they need to call to make an appointment,” Bisgard said.