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February 6, 2014

Forest Dump

Contractors review sites throughout Whitley during tour

CORBIN — Hillside dump sites — that was the bulk of what contractors reviewed during a 100-plus mile “dump tour” through Whitley County Wednesday.

According to Whitley County Projects Director Amber Owens, contractors interested in bidding to clean up these dump sites were required to attend a pre-bid meeting in the conference room of the county courthouse Wednesday.

During that meeting, contractors received the list of 10 dump sites approved for cleanup with state grant monies.

From there, contractors headed for their 4x4 vehicles and “met up” with Owens and Solid Waste Coordinator Danny Moses at Brashear’s Market in Williamsburg to begin the trek up KY 204 toward the first dump site to see for the day.

That site, known as the “Sego Road Dump,” sits near Archer’s Creek off of Leonard Petrey Road. Owens said a county road crew discovered this site — Moses said that Sego Road is used mostly as a logging road and also has a few natural gas wells there.

The dump area goes from the road about 300 yards into the brush.

Most of the trash there was household, but there was also furniture, mattresses and several tires — and it was all overgrown.

After getting a good look at that site, the tour continued onto Craig Road, then Log Cabin Road, and back eventually to Cumberland Falls Highway.

From there, the group turned off onto Chestnut Road, where they stopped on a treacherously muddy road to review the second dump site on the tour, known as the “Chestnut Road Dump.”

That site includes half of a commercial-sized dumpster and a host of household trash as well as a smattering of tires.

The next stop on the tour took the group on Corinth Cemetery Road to Eatontown School Road — the site of the next trash dump, known as the “Eatontown Road Dump.” This site included a barn, however, Owens explained to contractors that no cleaning was to be performed inside the structure, and that the building itself must remain as it stands.

Dozens of old tires were at this site, barely visible through the brush that grew through them. Also tossed out at this site was an old computer, bits of household products, and an old keyboard. This was one of the few dump sites that was not located on a steep hillside.

The next dump site approved for cleanup was off of KY 511 on Rockholds Church Road, behind the First Baptist Church of Rockholds.

Owens told the contractors this was over a larger area — trash dumped there was mostly household, a truck grill, a large industrial tank, and an old boat.

A falling-down abandoned house sits in this dump site, but it, too, also cannot be entered or cleared of trash.

From there, contractors followed Moses to the next dump site on Mosley Branch Road off of KY 1064, known as the “Mosley Branch #2 Dump.” This hillside dump was littered with couches, mattresses and other household furniture, some of which appeared to have been set on fire prior to getting tossed down the hill.

While at that site, Moses uncovered another dump site there — Owens said that site will appear on next year’s grant request.

Then the dump tour picked back up and headed on KY 92 East toward Pineville, turning off onto KY 1595 toward Frakes.

About two and a half miles out sits the first dump site on this stretch — “KY 1595 Dump #5.”

That hillside dump site includes a mix of trash — tires, household goods and another smattering of tires.

A mile from that site sits the next dump site on that road — “KY 1595 Dump #6.”

While the view from that site is pretty impressive — the large area of hillside trash is not so much.

More furniture was at this site, and dozens of old tires. Contractors reviewing the site discussed at length the difficulty in recovering hillside trash from this and other steep dump sites.

The group then returned to their 4X4s and began a trek along Mud Creek Road — ending up on Black Oak Road to the “Proctor Hollow Dump.”

Owens said that Moses located this site during last year’s dump tour. Items dumped here include a toilet and the usual smattering of tires.

The next stop for the tour group was right along Cumberland Falls Highway in the Saxton community — there, another “over-the-hill” dump site was reviewed by the contractors.

This site is known as the “U.S. 25W South Roadside Dump.”

A creek also flows through this site.

The last stop for the tour group was off of KY 92 West — the “Walker Mill Road Dump” near Beck’s Creek off of Alsile Road.

This site also includes tires, household trash and other related items.

Owens said contractors do not have to bid on all projects — they can choose which sites they want to bid for cleanup.

However, all bids for any of these sites are due by 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17.

“This year we applied for the state grant to clean up 10 illegal dumps in different parts of the county,” Owens explained.

She added that these sites appear to be long in existence.

“Most, if not all, of the dumps on this year’s grant are old dumps,” she said. “They are smaller than in years past, but we can tell by the material found in them that they have been around for years.”

While last year 11 contractors came out for the dump tour to bid, Owens said only seven contractors attended Wednesday’s pre-bid meeting and tour.

“This year the number of contractors bidding is fewer than last year,” Owens said. “I think the reason for that is that we had so few dumps last year.”

Grant monies were approved for five dump sites in 2013.

“(The contractors) may have felt that the dump cleanups were tapering off,” Owens said.

She expects these dumps will be removed quickly once bids are approved.

“After meeting the contractors who will be bidding on these dumps, I think they are all very high quality contracts who will work hard to help clean up our county,” she said.

The dump sites cleaned in 2013 were mostly in busy areas.

“There are only a few dumps this year that are on well-traveled roads,” Owens said. “Most of those being cleaned this year are very well disguised over hillsides or off of roads that have little or no traffic.”

To help avoid trash getting dumped illegally throughout the county, Whitley County offers “Dumpster Days.”

And right now, the Whitley County Dumpster Program is in full swing.

Each month throughout 2014, dumpsters will be set up in various locations in Whitley County. From 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. during those days, crews will be at these dumpsters to assist residents with unloading. No tires are accepted at any of these locations.

On Feb. 13-15, they will be set up at the Corn Creek Community Center on KY 26.

On March 13-15, the dumpsters will be located at the Whitley County Garage.

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