Lauderdale County seeks solutions to dumping problems, property theft

Photo courtesy Rush Mayatt

A Dumpster at Lauderdale County's designated dumping site on North Lakeland Drive was discovered on fire Sunday, county road manager Rush Mayatt said. 

Employees at some of Lauderdale County's designated dumping sites are at their "wits' end" dealing with a variety of problems, the county's road manager said Thursday. 

At a board of supervisors work session, Rush Mayatt said he hoped to find someone who could help with enforcement.

Mayatt said later that despite posted regulations, some people have been abusing the sites by digging through dumps and piling up trash after hours.

"It's been an ongoing problem," he said. "They'll dump anything." 

At one of the sites, Mayatt discovered someone had left a dead dog, he said.  

Sunday afternoon, someone discovered a fire 15-20 feet high in the roll-off Dumpster on North Lakeland Drive, Mayatt said. 

Meridian firefighters put out the fire, which left damage to the Dumpster.

It's not clear how the fire started as the the camera at the dumping site was not working, Mayatt told the board. 

"I just ask that people be respectful and mindful," Mayatt said later. "The reason they're there is to provide an avenue for people to dump things, rather than having to pay to landfill them, or to deter people from throwing it on the side of the road."  

Odie Barrett, interim director for the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency, told the board Thursday that a break-in of a LEMA truck last month resulted in the loss of $12,000 in stolen property. 

The truck, which was parked behind the LEMA office on 14th Street, had broken windows and several items missing, including a $6,500 generator, four radios, two chainsaws, two iPads, an electric tiller and a set of tools, Barrett said.

“We’re in the profession of helping people in the time of emergency, cleaning up the interstate for environmental hazards, and yet people come and steal the equipment that we use to keep everybody safe,” Barrett said later. “It kind of makes you upset that people are stooping to that level.”

Barrett said LEMA is considering putting a fence around a parking lot and expanding video surveillance.  

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