JACKSBORO, Tenn. (WATE) — The main commercial dump site in Campbell County is overflowing with trash that’s been piling up for months.
The sanitation director said he hopes the county commission will approve some machinery that will cut into the mounting problem. After visiting, WATE’s Don Dare said it’s a mess, an eyesore and possibly an environmental health hazard.
The convenience center or garbage site for Campbell County is on Towe String Road in Jacksboro. It’s where county residents can throw their trash into dumpsters. The household section of the county transfer station was upgraded.
Business owner Chuck Samples showed the mountain of commercial trash that was piled up at the Campbell County Convenience Center. He said the site creates a possible environmental hazard because of the staggering amount of trash not being loaded onto semi-trailers and hauled away.
“Tons and tons of commercial garbage that is not being processed. It’s been this way for probably six months,” Samples said. “It should be all cleaned up and everything inside the steel building on the concrete flood and loaded onto semi-trailers.”
Samples said most people are unaware of where their trash ends up, but they take notice if the trash is not picked up.
Commercial Hauler Mark Kitts is aware of that issue. He takes trash from Campbell County apartment complexes to the dump site every day.
“There have been times when it’s been shut down, you couldn’t dump for two weeks. Yes, people got trash. It doesn’t stop, that’s an inconvenience. Then we got to put it on the property, we continue to get trash, then put it back on the truck. You can’t keep the trash on your property,” Kitts said.
The household section of the convenience center is new and improved. New compactors were added and they work, and driving through the center is convenient and it’s clean.
Campbell County Sanitation Director Bill Rutherford said much work lies ahead in cutting into the pile of trash accumulated in the commercial section of the dump site.
“A lot of equipment broke down, a truck broke down. We had some drivers leave. It got to the point where we couldn’t load our truck the same way we were. Mr. Samples has gone above and beyond trying to help us out. We’ve had his loader over here up until today. With the exception of the transfer station, we have made massive improvements out here. When this facility was designed, it wasn’t designed for the amount of waste that we receive,” Rutherford said.
Campbell County records show 17,000 tons of trash were hauled away from 2011 through 2018, but 26,000 tons of trash was removed from 2019 through 2021, a 65 percent increase.
A decision by the Campbell County commission Monday will help cut into the amount of trash piled up over the last few months.
“Monday it is going before the commission to rent a track loader for a month to be able to load this and truck this out,” Rutherford said.
Rutherford said the State Department of Environment and Conservation is working with him and his staff in getting the convenience center cleaned up as soon as possible.
The Campbell County Commission approved the proposal to rent a loader to help begin cutting into the mountain of trash, it may take several weeks or more to remove all of it from the commercial site.
Loads of garbage will be taken to a massive facility in Scott County, which is closely regulated by the Department of Environment and Conservation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with additional information.