County asked to remove all dumpsters from Whigham campus
since July, official
Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard has requested that the Grady County Commission remove the five trash dumpsters currently located on the campus of Whigham Elementary School no later than the close of business on Friday, Nov. 24 and to clean the area of all trash and debris.
The school superintendent briefed the board of education members Tuesday night of his decision to have the dumpsters removed permanently.
Taylor Waste Services, which collects and disposes of the trash and garbage for the City of Whigham will now handle the Whigham Elementary School’s solid waste.
“It is apparent the county is not planning to do anything about the dumpster situation until sometime in the spring, and I do not want our campus in Whigham to be a major dump site any longer,” Dr. Gilliard told board members Tuesday night.
Earlier this year, the county closed a dump site near Whigham and shifted eight dumpsters to the school campus where three used by the school were located. Once the Whigham baseball team began practicing and playing ball, school officials began to receive complaints about the odor and unsightliness of the dumpsters.
Dr. Gilliard said he emailed Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar on July 31 requesting the additional dumpsters be removed from the school campus. At that time, Tobar said he was working with City of Whigham officials to locate another location.
Gilliard and Whigham Mayor George Trulock were told on Sept. 14 that Tobar would have an answer on a new dump site location “this week.” Then on Sept. 22 Tobar told the school superintendent the extra dumpsters were being moved, but according to Gilliard, only six of the eight additional dumpsters were moved.
“This resulted in everyone dumping their garbage on the ground, because the six dumpsters were not taken to a new site for the citizens to use. In reality, this made the problem worse,” Dr. Gilliard wrote to Grady County Commission Chairman Ray Prince.
On Sept. 28, Tobar told the superintendent that he was meeting with some property owners the following Monday to finalize a deal for a new dumpster location. Gilliard said he read in The Cairo Messenger the next Wednesday that the deal had fallen apart.
Then, last week, Gilliard said he read in The Cairo Messenger that the board of commissioners was not planning to take any action regarding the consolidation of dumpster sites or any additional action until a study of the county’s solid waste program could be conducted by the Archway Partnership and a new District 1 county commissioner is elected.
Tobar was also reported as telling the board the additional dumpsters had been removed, which Gilliard said is untrue.
“We had three dumpsters and there are still five dumpsters on the campus. We never had the issue of bags of trash around the outside of the dumpsters until it was the only site for citizens on the southwest side of the county to deposit their garbage,” Dr. Gilliard wrote.
Over the weekend, someone deposited azalea and magnolia clippings on the ground next to the dumpsters. “Our guys are having to clean up the mess,” Dr. Gilliard said.
Once the county removes the dumpsters, Dr. Gilliard said he is planning to put up farm fencing and transform the area, which is located near the school’s greenhouse, track and baseball field, into a place where middle school agriculture students could plant crops.
Dr. Gilliard said he wrote to the county commission chairman and provided copies for all county commissioners so that they would have all of the information and understand his frustration with the dumpster situation.
The superintendent said no one from the county ever notified him, Whigham Principal Mark Willis or any other school system employee about moving the additional dumpsters to the school campus in the summer.