OPEN THREAD: 'Dump' Your Thoughts Here

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Are you a regular user of the Cannon County Convenience Center? If so, the Cannon Courier would like to know your thoughts on the services provided. Log on and tell us whether you think it is serving you well, or if you think improvements need to be made and what should be done differently.
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Members Opinions:
August 22, 2011 at 3:25pm
Would like to drive AROUND and drop off garbage instead of BACKING UP and dropping off.
Sarah Womack
August 22, 2011 at 4:37pm
I would like to see plastic recycling (milk jugs, juice bottles, 2 liter drink bottles, etc. they take up a lot of space). I also would NOT like to see the Goodwill truck backed in up there.
August 22, 2011 at 4:39pm
To be honest, it looks like a DUMP.

And I mean that with no disrespect to the employees who work there because it is hard to keep an area designed for garbage looking clean. However, it needs to have some basic cleaning performed on the grounds, the compactor, parking lot and fence area.

I am not sure how well an audit by any environmental group would go with the current condition it is in. Especially the parking lot when you factor in rain water runoff that is bound to be heading directly toward the Stones River. Do you know if the county has a S.W.P.P.P. in place? If so, what is the frequency an audit has been done based on that program?

The fence line could use some weeding or at least some weed killer to prolong the life of the fence and improve the overall appearance as well.

I was thinking about the cost of the Solid Waste budget the other day as I was waiting in line looking at the sign that says "We Recycle" that asked everyone to dump newspapers, bottles, and aluminum cans into separate containers and there were none. There used to be a trailer that set there where you could throw your aluminum cans in, but it has disappeared.

We don't recycle because we don't educate and we don't have any containers provided to give us the opportunity to lower the amount of what we send to the landfill. Therefore our solid waste budget costs are higher than they should be.

I am with Sarah above in that I wish there was a way to drive around because there were five cars in line last week and when I pulled up to dump my trash the person working was sitting on the back of a tailgate of a truck talking to a guy who had just dumped his trash. With a two car maximum it caused about a 15 minute wait because they were blabbing.

I wish the entrance was wider when you first pull in because at times people come loaded pulling trailers of garbage and it is almost impossible to get in or out if you meet them at the gate.

Perhaps a committee should be formed to look at the overall budget and ways to reduce the costs, the appearance and improve the service of the entire process.
August 22, 2011 at 6:20pm
Everything went much faster when the prison inmates were up there. Every time I was there while those guys were working, things went very fast and smooth. Those guys always worked hard and got the job done. I vote we bring them back.

August 22, 2011 at 7:41pm
Ive used the facility now for over 13 years and applaud the folks responsible considering what little they have been given to work with.

When the prisoners were utilized it was overall in better shape. Bring them back with a clear understanding there will be no drug or violent offenders working there and any violations of the honor system will add time to the sentence with no exceptions. It shouldn't be at the inconvenience of the public that this cannot be supervised responsibly. Brooms, shovels and rakes can make a big difference.

I don't think I've ever waited more than a few minutes to unload and if folks happen to chat a little whats the big deal. It takes me a ten seconds to get in and get out but if someone takes 5 minutes after they have unloaded they are being very inconsiderate. I have never seen an employee sitting on a tailgate or slowing things down.

IMO we wouldn't need an audit by an environmental organization to get this right and we sure don't need that cost.

It lacks supervision, needs containers for recycling (separated before you come to the dump), prisoners sweeping, raking and shoveling with a few wheel barrels. There is no reason it has to be the mess its in again.

August 22, 2011 at 8:35pm
Since there seems to be a budget revenue shortfall in Cannon County I suggest that a fee of $1.00 per vehicle be charged when people drive in to dump their garbage. If it is a large truck full a fee of $5.00 could be charged. I think the citizens would rather see the County thinking of ways like this to raise revenue instead of trying to up property taxes by 20 cents.
August 22, 2011 at 9:13pm
I am with Ralph on this, why not try letting the women inmates try doing this? They were always nice to my family. They are human as well as every one.Granted they have messed up to be where they are.
August 22, 2011 at 9:48pm
The "good" inmates could certainly help keep the dump from looking like a dump and I agree with Ralph to bring them back. They have a fine looking garden at the jail and could really make the center look more presentable and make things go more efficiently.
August 23, 2011 at 6:24am
It's called a "convenience" center for a reason. One of the things I like about it being convenient is that it helps stop illegal dumping in remote areas and on roadways. (nothing will ever stop some idiots) If the "convenience" is removed from the center by things such as long waits, fees, etc., I fear illegal dumping will increase.
August 23, 2011 at 6:25am
Used the disposal area since it was opened. Generally little or no wait but even a wait of ten minutes or so is better than dumping that trash in some gulley or hollow throughout the county.
I doubt if anyone is checking license plates and making sure the area is restricted to Cannon Countians only--that should be done.
I would not feel comfortable with jail inmates on the scene and having routine contact with non-inmates. Looking for trouble that will eventually come, if that is done again.
Charging a fee would result in trash being dumped along the roads, don't think that should be considered.
Budgets stretched as they are I am sure the county is hard pressed to increase manpower in that area but this is an area that needs the funding if we are wanting to clean up the county streams and roadsides. REcycling containers are a must and all in county should be encouraged to recycle.
REmember the old days before we had. Wouldn't like to go back to those days.

Let's fund properly and keep clean.
August 23, 2011 at 6:41am
As we talk of tax increases I am surprised a study into possible cost savings at our dump has not been a topic of conversation. I asked before and I will ask again does anyone know how we stand, cost wise, compared with other counties? If our costs are high, what are other counties doing that we aren’t? Why can’t we recycle more? Doesn’t recycling help the environment and our wallets? I have to haul some recyclables to neighboring counties. Is some recycling being done that doesn’t benefit the taxpayers? Are we taking competitive bids for contracts and if not, why? I believe it is time to revamp our dump.
August 23, 2011 at 6:44am
TDan the requirements for having a SWPPP plan in place is not one that can be done on a volunteer basis. It is a requirement that is mandated by law.

There are several reasons this law is in place, primarily to protect the citizens from toxic runoff entering into the water supply you drink. Which in this case is less than 1/4 of a mile away. Not to mention destroying the environment that is home to that water supply.

Also, to ignore it and not do anything to prevent it actually makes you much more liable for fines and lawsuits than if you took the time and spent a little money to fix it.

I am not suggesting we spend millions of dollars on cleaning the area up, but I am suggesting we make real sure we have all of our ducks in a row so we don't spend millions of dollars cleaning up the Stones River because we had our head in the sand.

Also, just because you didn’t see someone sitting on a tailgate blabbing doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen quite frequently. It didn’t bother me too much, but I did see a couple of folks waving arms and squealing tires when they backed up because of it. Me personally, I was enjoying the nice weather that day!

Also, the idea of charging me a fee to dump my garbage when I am already paying for the service through my taxes is double taxation to me. I would agree with MMW that simply checking the license plates for the Cannon County Wheel Tax would help tremendously.
August 23, 2011 at 8:31am
I don't think involving the feds (EPA)is going to benefit the county. The Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (S.W.P.P.P)is probably more applicable to the quarry that was permitted on the edge of the river and other types of construction sites that impact areas of one acre or more. Since garbage is not stockpiled at this site the risk of storm water runoff would be minimal unlike the Murfressboro.

I'd like to see a sign indicating what materials are not permitted and/or a location designated within the dump to put hazardous materials like batteries and paint and other like materials.

Not meaning to repeat myself but puah brooms rakes shovels and wheel barrels with a few prisoners would go a long ways in restoring and maintaining the overall appearance of the dump.
August 23, 2011 at 8:39am
Taxes can only be stretched so far. I would a whole lot rather my taxes went to provide adequate police and fire protection, good education for kids, and paved roads than worrying about how "convienient" it was for people to dump their garbage. Have people become so irresponsible that they are now dependent on the county to provide them a 'pretty' and 'free' place to throw away their trash? Oh, sorry for a minute I had forgotten what a dependent, "give me" world we live in. I really don't think the people making the effort to visit the dump on a weekly basis are going to start throwing bags of garbage out on the side of the roads just because the county asks them to pay a $1.00 to use the "convienient" dump.
August 23, 2011 at 9:26am
Recycle! Recycle! Recycle! I would welcome this option... No inmates working there please.
August 23, 2011 at 10:31am
Bud "The goal of the permit" you are referencing "is to protect the quality and beneficial uses of the Nation's surface water resources from pollution in stormwater runoff from construction activities. To achieve this goal, the permit requires operators to plan and implement appropriate pollution prevention and control practices for stormwater runoff during the construction period. These Best Management Practices (BMPs) are aimed primarily at controlling erosion and sediment transport, but also include controls, including good housekeeping practices, aimed at other pollutants such as construction chemicals and solid waste (e.g., litter). As used in this permit, the terms "Construction and Construction-related activities" include all clearing, grading, excavation, and stockpiling activities that will result in the disturbance of one or more acres of land area. I don't argue the need to protect our resources but SWPPP doens't apply."

Time to consider fees for commercial dumping and offloading of construction waste. It SHOULD be transported to the landfill in Murfreesboro by the party directly responsible and not at the cost of the local tax payers. It is these types of activities that create the excessive unloading times not neighbors doing a little visiting.

Again we don't need big gov't getting involved in any way shape or form. I think Cannon county can manage this without the EPA getting into our business.
August 23, 2011 at 1:08pm
It seems alot of people are against the use of inmates-well, why don't more people receive community service instead of probation and let those people do some of the work around the area. They would not have to be confined to that one area. I'm sure there are several areas around the county that could use some free help.
August 23, 2011 at 2:01pm
TDan my name is Corey, not Bud. And I am not advocating getting any government agency involved. If you had read a little closer you would have seen where I asked a question about the SWPPP plan for Cannon County. I was simply curious if we had one in place or if there were other requirements the Convenience Center was required to have.

I think it is very irresponsible if we don't ask if we meet all codes and regulations that are required before someone comes in and finds out that we don't and it costs us more in the long run.

Who knows what gets put into that dump, to include paint, oils, batteries, and many other hazardous wastes all wrapped up in a garbage bag where no one can see. Then the trailer gets pulled and leaks all across the parking lot.

Have you ever seen them change a trailer out? Garbage goes everywhere and they take a tractor to scoop it up. Then the rain comes along and washes all the excess away. Do you ever wonder where that stuff goes?

We both agree it needs to be cleaned, of that I am sure. And I daresay you agree that the corrosion on the parking lot doesn't need to hit the river either. Why does it offend you so much I would ask that question?

kane, no offense but I think we pay enough taxes as it is. Wouldn’t it make more sense to enforce the laws we have in place such as the wheel tax sticker before we start charging people a $1.00 to dump their garbage? And who is going to collect that $1.00? Who is going to ensure everyone pays every time? There is a lot more work to that idea than you give credence to.
August 23, 2011 at 4:20pm
You are kidding yourself if you're worried only about the inmates. The only difference between some of the people you stand beside at the gas pump, Wal-mart, the theater, etc., and the inmates is that the inmates got caught.
August 23, 2011 at 7:05pm
Tdan my name is Bud and i didnt refer to any of those ideas--my idea was basically fire them all , clean it up (with a broom) and start all over! oh and recycle
August 23, 2011 at 8:28pm
A drive around area please, cause some people can't back and they always almost hit someone's cars :) AND the inmate's were great! They were always very respectful and very helpful. Put them back out there and just pay attention more to what they are doing. They aren't doing anything more than the rest do, they just got caught. The dump needs to have recycling bins more available and easy to get to when you go there. The tire disposal needs something done because it's always full. I think it just needs some organizing and cleaning up. Put the inmates back, please. Go over to Coffee county and get some ideas!
August 23, 2011 at 10:22pm
I believe that most of the major concenses in all this is RECYCLE. But the question is how to enforce a recycle program and keep costs down?

There are several ways to do this. In some cases it is already being done, but is there a check and balance system that insures that the money comes back to the county and not into someones pocket?

With the price of aluminum up to around 75 cents a pound a trailer full of cans helps increase the income to the county. What about ink and toner? Recycling the thousands of ink and toner cartridges that are thrown away daily is a way to not only reduce waste but could help the county convenience center to balance their budget. They already sell cardboard waste to be reused. Selling metal can help as well. I do feel that a fee for tires being dumped should be charged as the county has to pay for those tires to be picked up, and that charge should be equal to what it takes to have someone come haul those tires off, which is normally around $1.00 a piece or so.

How about reselling the mulch that is created from chipping up the tree branches. $10 a truck load would help pay for the gasoline used to run the chipper.

It is time for Cannon County to become a green county and start reducing the waste in not only what is hauled off but in the budget as well.
August 23, 2011 at 10:38pm
Corey no offense taken to anything you have said.
The SWPPP you reference (within the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)would not apply to the situation at the dump. It would apply to a new construction site or any excavation that might occur at the site that would "impact an area greater than one acre".

When you suggest audits its an attractant to state and federal involvement.

We may or may not have adequate procedures or a BMP (Best Management Practice) established. From the looks of the Center we probably do not.

If not there are many we can leverage from and our LOCAL stormwater professionals should be able to make that happen.

As for the pollution concerns an effective BMP must involve a reduction in volume that is applied to our site. Less in less out. Containment at the site. Not complicated. Catch pans under the compactor and specific containers that can be used to prevent pollutants getting into the compactor would reduce the spillage significantly.

Construction materials and industrial and commercial waste should not be treated the same a garbage from the typical household and its obvious that is not currently the case. It can be seen by increased offloading times and spillage.

More strict enforcement of our current BMP?)
August 24, 2011 at 1:55am
There definitely needs to be enforcement of the wheel tax sticker at the dump. I always see Dekalb, Warren and other out of county plates using the dump as their personal dumping ground. What about that garbage truck I see running through those counties that always unloads at the dump? Are they paying the county anything while they charge residents from other ounces to pick up their trash?

Recycling is so very important as the less trash that needs to be hauled to Murfreesboro in those giant tractor trailers means less money spent on gas and less money the county has to pay to Rutherford County to dispose of the trash that ends up at the collection center.

I'm probably one of the only person around this county that brings their own bag when grocery shopping or going to the farmers market, as I hate plastic bags and the fact that they end up in the trash after one use. :/ FYI you can recycle plastic grocery bags at the Walmart in Murfreesboro, you can drop off ink toner cartridges and other things at Best Buy as well.

Up to 30 percent of things that get tossed in the trash is food waste and could be composted and made into wonderful fertilizer for gardens and lower beds round town, saving the county money to haul that 30% away. I'm sure that those folks that have gardens of their own have a compost pile.

Buying products in containers that can either be reused or recycled is a way to make sure less stuff end up in the trash. There's lots of great ideas in this page to consider to help make our trash collection/recycling center a great one!
August 24, 2011 at 7:25am
I guess the question is- do we (mr gannon) have the right personnel running the dump?
August 24, 2011 at 7:40am
According to the information I obtained from Mr. Gannon's office, the two employees working there now each earn approximately $18,000 per year. Between them they provide 60 hours of service per week. It would not appear they have the time nor the resources to check the residency status of every person who transports garbage there. Sheriff Young has offered to place corrections officers there and once again allow the use of inmate labor under their supervision. Corrections officer earn approximately $24,000 per year. Based upon the actions of the county commission Tuesday night, it does not appear they would be in favor of spending any more money on either the dump or the sheriff's department.
August 24, 2011 at 7:47am
TDan now you are talking my language.

I have to go through extensive training every year where I work concerning the environment, hazardous waste disposal, SWPPP training and GMP's (Good Manufacturing Practices) which is basically the same as BMP's.

When I pull up to the dump my thoughts turn to that training and I sincerely wonder sometimes how we ignore the obvious. But, I realize everyone does not have to go through that training and most people are uneducated in the basic idea of GMP's or BMP's.

Also, when I speak of audits, I am more inclined to think about INTERNAL AUDITS vs. an outside audit. There is no reason why we couldn't come up with a list of items that are BMP's and perform audits by people inside Cannon County.

As I said before, the most logical thing to do would be to have a committee formed to look at ways we could improve the appearance, make the Convenience Center more effective and help cut overall costs to our Solid Waste Budget through recycling and other ideas.

It is great to talk about it on this open thread, but what good does it do us if no one is listening?
August 24, 2011 at 9:02am
Sorry Bud I got the names crossed (and Corey).
I agree I like the brooms and a couple of Trustees with time off for service and a tracking device would eliminate the need for a corrections officer. Community service has been suggested, great idea.
Some really good suggestions have been made.
When I drive through different counties and see how they handle their trash Im sure we might learn a few things.
No doubt we need to consider some changes and its not going to be without some cost but in the long run I really think the county will be better off and a lot if the cost/investment would be recoverable over a few years. Scrap metal sales as suggested, the mulch idea is a a good idea, those tires could bring in a few dollars. Commercial and industrial dumping fees.
I have no idea who could head up a plan to make some well needed changes but I'm sure one of our illustrious elected can step up and take ownership of the task at hand. You might even have a VALID re-election point. I'm curious where have they been to begin with. Its not like the dump has been out of sight.
Maybe use some of the funds that are used to repaved roads that didn't need repaving every year(oh that's another issue)
August 24, 2011 at 9:18am
With the budget shortfalls and people not comfortable with inmate labor, maybe it is time for the citizens of Cannon County to start helping their own.

What I mean by this is, maybe it is time we stop looking for all the conveniences of someone emptying our trash and let the workers do the work that needs to be done around the center. All it would take is someone being nice enough to lend a helping hand to an elderly person unloading next to them or helping that person who has a lot to empty out.

Back before the age of convenience that is what our grandfathers and great-grandfathers did. Maybe its time we look at bringing community back into our community, but I know this will not happen because someone will post after reading this about the inmates, that we need new personnel or some other complaint rather than agree that we all need to come together especially in today's economy because it is easier to complain than to actually take personal steps to fix it.

I challenge Cannon County to step up and bring community back.
August 24, 2011 at 10:51am
I good with a volunteer clean-up committee.

If someone would coordinate it, (i.e. an elected official)then let me know the date and time and I will gladly help out.

And I would bring a few friends as well.
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