Yazoo County voted Friday to raise the fee for illegal dumping from $50 to $500.
District 1 Supervisor Lee Moore said he made the motion in response to constant complaints from residents.
The fine had previously been lowered to $50 at the suggestion of former District 1 Supervisor Van Foster. Foster said at the time that he wanted to reduce the fine because he believed deputies were not writing tickets for illegal dumping because they thought the fine was too high.
“Van wanted it lowered because he thought the sheriff’s department might actually give some tickets if the fine was lowered,” said District 2 Supervisor David Berry. “A lot of those people don’t have $500, but maybe they could do community service.”
“They can pick the garbage up,” said Board President Cobie Collins.
Chancery Clerk Quint Carver said the county has a serious problem.
“I went to the dumpsters right in front of the county barn yesterday, and there were two people fighting over aluminum cans they were getting out of the dumpsters,” Carver said.
District 4 Supervisor David Shipp said it’s sometimes impossible to keep up with the problem.
“We cleaned up everything on Racetrack Road and the next day we had 22 dumpsters lined up out there,” Shipp said. “While Jim (County Road Manager Jim Warrington) was sitting there, a guy pulled up with a 16 foot trailer loaded with limbs who was fixing to back up and put them there. He was going to do that with Jim standing right there. If he knew he was going to get a $500 fine, he probably wouldn’t be doing that.”
Moore said some residents have suggested putting cameras at the dumpster locations around the county, but he doubts that would be effective.
“They’d probably just steal or shoot our cameras,” Moore said.
Moore said the increased fine will only work if deputies write tickets.
“We’ve got to start somewhere, but it will only work if it’s enforced,” Moore said.
“That’s right,” Collins responded. “People from other counties come here and dump because we’re not enforcing it.”
The board previously enacted a $3,000 fine for illegally dumping tires. That fine remains in effect.