Cleanup Day to get hand from county

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By Lou Elliott Jones

Cedar Key residents will need to show their re-entry pass to participate in the May 30 citywide hazardous waste collection.

City Commissioer Sue Colson, who asked the Levy County Commission for help in collecting and handling waste from county residents participating in the cleanup, won a pledge of cooperation from County Solid Waste Director Benny Jerrells. 

Colson told the county commission that about 25 percent of the people participating in past collections were county residents and she hoped the county would pick up the tab for the material. She said the city pays a company to transport and process the electronics, oil, paint and tires collected at the event. 

Colson first asked for a trailer and two landfill workers to staff the event and promised to feed the workers lunch. But Jerrells said he is shorthanded at this time with one worker retiring and one on sick leave. 

So the haggling began and Jerrells said he would deliver barrels for the event and Colson will provide volunteers to staff the county operation and arrange transport for the materials with the contractor, Clean Harbors. 

Colson said she was seeking county help because "they will have a place to get rid of it and we will all have a cleaner community."

She said, "We're concerned it's (hazardous waste) on the ground and Levy County should be concerned it's on the ground."

She said the city took in the waste from county residents for years, but it cannot continue to do so as it pays Clean Harbors to collect and haul off the materials. 

Colson said they wanted to avoid turning away county residents and having the material just dumped in the county. And she noted it is a long haul from the island and surrounding comminities to the landfill about 4 miles outside of Bronson. 

"I can guarantee that if they have gone through the trouble to load it up they're not going to put it back," said Commissioner Chad Johnson of Chiefland (R-District 2).

Commission Chair Ryan Bell of Chiefland (R-District 4) once again noted that inhis travels around the county that "permitted or not every neighbrhood has their own private landfill." 

Colson and Jerrells agreed that the county would provide the barrels and Cedar Key will arrange the transport to the landfill. Jerrells said the landfill accepts household hazardous waste for free on Wednesdays if residents want to be rid of them.