Transfer Station Closes

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If you enjoy disposing of your trash any way you like, your options may be dwindling. Friday the Panama City Beach solid waste transfer station is closing, and the city may be cracking down on where else your garbage may be going.

For years people in Panama City Beach have taken their garbage to the beach transfer station.

For the change you'd find in your couch cushions, patrons could get rid of weeks’ worth of their garbage, but now the beach transfer station is closing permanently.

Bay County is closing the station because it needs so many repairs. They say the station doesn't bring in enough money to justify the half-a-million dollars in upgrades, and because it's closing city officials think we'll see a lot more people illegally dumping their garbage.

John Wray with PCB code enforcement said, "Now we're really gonna see our increase ‘cuz folks just are not gonna drive that extra distance to Steelfield. They are going to go along side the road, down a pig trail and dump it."

Wray says the north part of the county is the worst for illegal dumping since there are so many trails and dirt roads, but the beach isn't immune to the problem.

"West in Panama City Beach does have a concern because there are so many absentee owners; they trim their debris. They just leave it on the side of the road or when tenants are there without the mandatory garbage pickup, they just place the garbage where ever they please."

Lee Sullivan, PCB Mayor, said, "This is a resort community that does not have one single public trash receptacle along Front Beach Road."

But Panama City Beach's city council is now working to fix that problem by making it mandatory to have garbage pickup.

If you're already wheeling your trash to the curb for pickup, the only change affecting you would be in the billing.

"The independent contractors continue to pick the garbage up, but your garbage bill comes through with your water and sewer bill and everybody gets one and everybody has to pay for what they get or their water and sewer is cut off."

Private pickup companies would bill the city. They haven't worked out all the details on how prices will changes.

"I don't know that you won't still be able to enjoy that free enterprise profile. I would anticipate that whatever your hauler charges you, would be what you pay."

Sullivan says if the city focuses its efforts we could have the mandatory pickup by late 2007. If you do need a place to dump your garbage right now, Steelfield is the closest available dumping site.