Evans updates council on landfill

Published 8:27 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The city of Selma is preparing to find a new location to take out the trash.

During Tuesday’s Selma City Council meeting, Selma Mayor George Evans said he is taking measures to correct issues that led to solid municipal waste being placed behind the Dallas County Sportsplex baseball fields on 50 acres of city-owned land.

The city, Evans said, is also taking measures to prevent this situation from becoming a problem in the future.

Evans said he gave the order for leaves, limbs, and other debris to be stored at the facility. Unfortunately, he said, other items were mixed in with this debris.

“I take full responsibility for it,” he said. “It was meant to be temporary so we could take trees and limbs out there. I’ll take the blame, because I gave the order to the staff.”

Out of habit, Evans said the workers continued to pick up items that did not belong in the pile. However, he said they have held meetings to inform them of what can and can’t be collected.

“The men picked up certain things they should not have picked up,” he said. “This has been an ongoing problem where we are always telling our citizens to distinguish between trash and garbage. There were mattresses and other things mixed in. I’m not blaming them.

“We had a meeting about it and they understand that should not happen. They had just always picked it up.”

Because the city’s current landfill was not large enough to accommodate the loads from the city, Evans said they initially chose the 50-acre tract to store limbs and other natural debris so the city could continue to bring in trash from businesses, which generates revenue.

The initial plan, Larry Friday said, was within the law.

“You can take bushes and stumps, you can also take rocks and sand,” he said. “The issue was the other things.”

Evans said it was his decision to store these items on the land.

He said a previous Selma Times-Journal article that stated the council gave him authorization was incorrect.

Now, councilmember Greg Bjelke said, he hopes the city can educate the public on what they can place on the curb and what needs to be separated.

“Let’s stop this where it began, which is with citizens who put this garbage all on the street,” he said.

“We’ve got to stop this. I’m amazed at what goes on the streets.

“I’d be glad for us to put something together and cut it off where it starts.”

Evans said he will continue to work with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management as well to rectify the problem.

“I got myself into this, I’m going to take care of it,” he said.

“A mistake was made, so we’re trying to correct it.”
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