County upgrades trash pick-up ordinances

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017

After months of discussion, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors fulfilled their promise to put more force behind county litter control efforts.

By adopting a new county ordinance, the Board is increasing regulation of commercial collectors in order to reduce the waste littering roadways.

Unincorporated areas of the county are responsible for their own waste disposal, forcing property owners to hire private companies.

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As Board Vice President Hudson Holliday said, this provides the opportunity for local jobs in the county, and also provides consumers with a valuable service because some companies pick up garbage all the way down the driveway, and not just what is brought to the street for collection.

However, the litter control department has experienced several issues where commercial collectors are not properly transporting waste, arriving to the landfill with less than what was collected. State law mandates waste must be transported properly to avoid this very problem, yet the county had little in the way of enforcement.

A new ordinance will now make these private companies undergo biannual inspections to ensure their vehicles meet the standards of county and state regulations.

Those who do not comply are subject to losing their permit to operate and could be convicted of a misdemeanor under state law.

Because the Board voted to not include a permit fee, these increased regulations should not hurt private companies. It will, however, cause some to increase the tarp and netting systems used to secure waste. Some may see this as a nuisance but it is vital to begin to ensure our county roadways are free of any unnecessary and easily avoidable litter.

The next step will be to enforce litter laws on private citizens that throw trash from the vehicle. While there still may be some loopholes to these regulations, it is our hope that the county will continue to work to close them to ensure a cleaner county for its residents and visitors.