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Recycling center seeking dumpers
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Over the Labor Day long weekend county residents once again piled up household garbage outside of the gates of the McGiboney Road Recycling Center.

The center was closed on Monday for the holiday and opened for normal business hours Tuesday.

"There is significant signage on the gate that says if you leave your trash here when the gates are closed, it's a $1,000 fine," said Newton County Code Enforcement Officer Phil Durand.

The $1,000 fine is the maximum the county can charge in environmental court, where judges can also assign violators up to 60 days in prison.

 Newton County Sanitation Director James Peters reported a total of 3,760 pounds of garbage was dumped in front of the closed gates.

Durand explained the Oak Hill and McGiboney centers usually collect the most waste, but McGiboney seems to be the only center where dumping violations are a problem when the center is closed.

"We had a big mess on the Fourth of July - it wasn't quite as big as this one though," Durand said.

He and others found approximately 30 names or addresses in the trash dumped over the Fourth of July holiday. All were fined $270.

"That's what all these are looking at, at least, unless the judge will give us more," Durand said.

Four of the 30 violators contested the charges, according to Durand, saying they thought it was OK to leave their trash there because others had already done so.

This weekend Durand collected almost 100 names and addresses in the garbage illegally dumped at the McGiboney Road center.

"We have to open every bag of garbage and sift thorough it with surgical gloves and breathe and smell all that and see maggots and flies," Durand said. "Not a lot of people want that job."

Durand said he is unsure why McGiboney Road sees more violations than all the other centers.

"They only close four times a year, and people can't wait just one day," Durand said. "I don't know how we're going to get people to understand they can't do that."