District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis said during Tuesday’s meeting that he now has five men picking up trash five days a week.
“I had come to the point that I had had enough of it,” Davis said.
He added that the crew recently filled 49 trash bags in a single day.
“You may pick up the garbage, but it won’t be long until it’ll be back out there,” replied District 2 Commissioner Bobby Nunnelley.
Nunnelley, who has frequently expressed frustration about the litter that covers the county, said he has had discussions with several state legislators about how to penalize individuals whose names are found among the litter.
“We need to make some way that these people help us clean it up instead of us spending all the money on it. It costs a lot to send a truck out there with four or five people to pick the garbage up,” Nunnelley said.
District 4 Commissioner Steven Aderholt said he has grown tired of discussing the topic at each meeting without seeing any progress on the issue.
“If we could put you in jail for it, we’d love to. I don’t know that we’ll ever get to that point. It will probably be something more like a fine, but whatever it takes,” Aderholt said.
Aderholt recently hired a full-time employee whose sole responsibility is to pick up litter, and some constituents have informed him that they are trying to tackle the problem themselves.
Aderholt said he would prefer to use inmates from the Walker County Jail, but commissioners are no longer being given access to inmates.
“We did last year for quite a while, but now those inmates are not available,” he said.
Davis said four of the people charged with cleaning up District 1 are in the county’s work release program.
The other individual is a part-time employee of the county.
Davis said he asked local judges to consider sentencing some defendants to community service instead of jail time because of the situation with the inmates.
“Instead of sending these individuals to the jail, where for some reason the districts can no longer get them, we are bypassing the jail and giving them sentences to community service and putting them under work release. We’re bypassing the sheriff and his permission to get inmates,” Davis said.