Trash dumping grows as problem at former Belvedere park

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BELVEDERE -- A former park tucked behind Celeste Avenue in Belvedere has become a neighborhood dumping ground despite the fact that a recycling center is less than a mile away.

Rodney Cooper, Aiken County solid waste supervisor, said the old Marshall Park has been a problem area for illegal dumping for most of his 20 years with waste management.

“It’s a hard place to stake out to try and catch someone – yet it’s open,” he said.

Mr. Cooper said with only one man to patrol the county at this point though, it’s difficult to keep track of the site and catch violators. Staff is only able to check most sites once a month. The staff has also been without inmate litter patrol for about nine months, due to budget issues, which mean the county couldn’t keep up with the site as they had in the past.

“We have prosecuted a few people for trash being dumped there, by going through it and getting their information out of it,” he said. “It’s laziness. People wait ‘til last minute to go to drop off center. If it’s closed don’t come back the next day, they just drop it here.”

With only one road into the area, he said neighbors can be a big help in catching dumpers.

“If they see someone going in there with a couch or appliance in the back of their truck and they see them leave and they’ve got no couch or appliance, they should call us with a tag number and description,” Mr. Cooper said.

He said most residents don’t want to get involved.

Mr. Cooper said the Belvedere site isn’t the only trouble spot in the county. Blackstone Camp Road in Beech Island and Randy Wayne Lane in Wagener have posed similar problems. Both of those roads offer secluded areas like Marshall Park.

The Belvedere site will cost around $2,000-$2,500 to clean up, Mr. Cooper said. He’s currently working with the state Department of Transportation to coordinate a clean up.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control are also checking into prosecuting the improper disposal of tires at the site.


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