'What a shame': Crews clear another illegal dump in Albany

This dumping site was gone by Wednesday afternoon, when public works crews arrived to pick up the piles of litter. / Mary Green

In the past week, Sam Sneed has spotted two illegal dumps within minutes of his East Albany home — one on School Street, and the other on Jean Avenue.

"What a shame, what a waste," he said.

After Sneed discovered the dumps, he called Ward I Commissioner Jon Howard, and both of them reported it to the City of Albany's 311 service. Howard advises anyone who sees illegal dumping to report it this way, which they can do anonymously.

Both dumping sites were gone by Wednesday afternoon, when public works crews arrived to pick up the piles of litter and taking with them dangerous objects and potential health hazards, like broken glass and empty bottles.

The dangers of the dump on School Street were amplified by its location, right across the street from Turner Elementary School.

"Our young people don't need to see this. This is not the example we need to be setting," Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Executive Director Judy Bowles said.

Gone are someone's precious memories, with baby and graduation photos mingled among the trash. So too are papers with personal information, but not before they're combed through.

"If you look within the discarded items, you can usually find some type of information that will lead back to the person who left it in the first place," Sneed said.

Bowles said dumps like these don't make sense.

"Somebody has loaded this probably in a pickup truck, and so, why don't you just go to the landfill?" she said.

Dougherty County residents can take up to 250 pounds per day to the landfill, but they might not even have to go that far.

"Most of the items that are discarded like this can just be left right next to your trash can or placed in your trash can, and they can be dumped away for free without making an eyesore or causing health issues," Sneed said.

There can be steep consequences, including a fine up to $1,000, court-ordered community service or even jail time, for causing a problem everyone has to pay for.

"How we look as a community is a reflection on each and every one of us that lives here," Bowles said.

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