South Vinemont trailer park dumpster overflow causing litter problem for surrounding homes

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Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune

VINEMONT, Ala. – South Vinemont has been experiencing a litter problem around the Vinemont Estates mobile home community for months. The dumpsters at the mobile home park have consistently overflowed, causing litter to scatter across the park and to neighboring homes. Vinemont resident Shirley Arnett called the Sanitation Department about the issue at the beginning of September. Arnett lives across the street from the park and during windy days has had trash blown down her street from the park’s dumpster.

The Vinemont town council has discussed the issue at many of their meetings. The council asked the public works director Mike Graves to contact the Sanitation department, the owner of the property, and the sheriff’s department to discover if the owner of the property could be given a fine. Graves contacted solid waste officer Phillip Patterson who spoke to the owner and manager of the properties, “I advised them of what is to come to them if they did not correct the problem. They are currently in the process of ordering more dumpsters or bigger dumpsters and they are going to clean the entire park up.”

The owners of the property own two of the parks in Vinemont, Patterson said, “Tomorrow or the next day, they for sure should be cleaned up and moving in the right direction.”

The litter at the village is considered an illegal dump. If the owners of the dumpsters fail to clean up the trash around the area, they will be taken to court. Patterson stated, “There is an owner of the property, but it is listed to a corporation, so we would have to determine if it needed to go to a civil case or a criminal case.” “There would be some penalties or fines involved that would have to be paid back through the court system. That would be taken care of, because tax-payer dollars are not gonna be spent cleaning this up.”

As of January 12, the site has already been cleaned up. Mayor Radginal Dodson stated, “We got in touch with the property owners, we meaning the townspeople, got in touch with the property owner and he agreed that situation should be corrected in the very near future.”

Photo contributed

Dodson described the reason for the litter problem, “They are redoing all the plumbing in the trailer park, and they’ve dug up all the sewage and all the water. They have ended up with a situation where people, because they are digging up across the driveways down to all the mobile homes to lay the water and sewage down, they were unable to get down to their mobile homes with a vehicle. So, they were parking their vehicles near the dumpsters. Then they would bring their trash when they got back to their vehicles and they would get back to the dumpsters and if the dumpsters happened to be full, what are they going to do with a bag of trash? Throw it down beside the dumpster. The gentleman that dumps the dumpsters, he isn’t gonna get out of that truck and pick up anything that is laying on the ground, so we have ended up with a situation. Once the dumpsters became at the capacity for the dumpsters, there was trash being piled up on the ground and we would see this, then get in touch with the folks at the mobile home park and they would clean it up.”

Dodson went on to say that sometimes it would take a day or two before the situation was rectified, but the council tried to keep aware of when the dumpster was overflowing and ask the owners to clean up the litter.

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