by Taylor O’Bier
George Bott gave a cleverly titled presentation, “Talking Trash,” on information he gathered at the Lancaster County Board of Supervisors’ regularly monthly meeting on March 30 about the state of illegal dumping in Lancaster County. This came after a Merry Point citizen brought a site on Merry Point Road to the board’s attention during their February monthly meeting during the public comment period.
The transfer stations in Lancaster currently accept wet garbage, cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum and most household items. Paint, TVs, light bulbs and batteries are considered “special trash” and taken once a year in Lancaster. To dispose of tires, citizens must go to the county office and pay a $1 fee per tire before taking them to Lively Wood Yard with the receipt for disposal. There are some locations around the county that dispose of the tires for free, but have limits to the amount one can bring. Items like used motor oil and antifreeze must be disposed of privately, according to Bott.
The results of these current policies in Lancaster have caused several rural sites to collect litter. Roads like Regina Road and Ottoman Ferry Road contain a few abandoned tires, while Merry Point Road and Nuttsville Road have up to 30 abandoned tires among other items such as living room furniture and appliances. Some of the tossed tires can even be found within 750 feet of the Lancaster County Courthouse.
The issue isn’t exclusive to land, either. Tires can also be seen on the coastline of Crescent Cove Point and other neighborhoods near the water. Old tires aren’t just unpleasant to look at; they are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects.
Bott stated at the meeting, “Discarded TV’s, refrigerators, paints, batteries, light bulbs and plastic bottles are a public nuisance. They do not fit the rural character of Lancaster County with our wine trails, oyster trails, scenic byways, ferry and waterfront. They also hurt real estate values.” He also noted that Northumberland County’s sites take all these special items without charge.
Bott recommended enforcing littering laws and updating some of the current solid waste disposal policies. Persons found guilty of littering, a class 3 misdemeanor, can face fines up to $500 and 30 days in jail.