Disgusting, but no city administration in Brunswick has been able to do much about it over the years. Officials have been struggling to stop it for decades, yet the problem persists even to this day. Evidence of it is everywhere.
The eyesore, of course, is illegal dumping, a major concern in the city. It happens in the county, too. In the unincorporated areas, sparsely populated or unpopulated roads are popular illegal dumping sites for those of poor conscience between sunset and sunup.
In the city proper, alleys were once the areas cluttered with unsightly piles of discarded furniture and other household items — places hidden from view of the general public and city authorities with the power to stop and cite culprits. Now, it is wherever one can find to dump it. That includes sidewalks and medians.
Much of it is due to evictions or renters leaving unwanted items behind when moving out, according to city officials.
It is more than just an eyesore and potential hazard. It is illegal. The city allows monthly pickup of most bulky household items, and it’s free of charge to residents. Apparently, though, that’s not good enough since the policy is failing to prevent illegal dumping.
The problem is perplexing to officials like City Manager Regina McDuffie. Right now, residents can haul off items that cannot be placed at the curb to a collection facility on Habersham Street and pay just $35 for a truck or trailer load.
On the other hand, bulk materials left for the city to deal with cost Brunswick taxpayers $75 per pickup. The city might be better off offering to pay the $35 fee for its residents when considering the public works department shelled out $155,000 on pickups last year.
That and increasing fines or days of community service and stepping up enforcement might help. Enlist more than just the eyes of city police and officials in the struggle. Offer a reward to anyone who reports someone in the process of dumping illegally.
This could work for both the city and the county. Government officials might be surprised how many they catch in the act given the number of adults and teens with cell phones on their person day and night. The name of the individual reporting the illegal activity could be withheld when authorities catch a person in the act.