Bay County cracking down on illegal storm debris dumping

BAY COUNTY, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - A significant amount of debris has been illegally dumped alongside Bay County roadways, particularly on Jenks and State avenues, and now the county is cracking down to put a stop to it.

Only Bay County residents are allowed to place storm debris on the public rights of way. This includes tree limbs, logs, and branches, loose construction materials, and items inside a home destroyed by the storm. Regular household garbage should not be placed in the right of way and should be disposed of as it was pre-storm.

Waste from commercial properties should not be placed on the right of way. Items removed as part of the demolition, reconstruction, or removal of a residence should be disposed of by a contracted waste-service provider. Commercial businesses, including apartments, should arrange with their contracted waste services provider for disposal.

"FEMA will not reimburse for commercial debris along the right away, that is something the cities and the counties will have pay for, ultimately the taxpayers will have to pay for, that's why we are encouraging all the commercial locations to get that where it should go, to the landfills," Bay County Public Works Director, Keith Bryant said.

The county will post signage warning against illegal dumping as well as cameras aimed at catching violators in the act. Violators will be prosecuted in accordance with the Florida state statute, which states that illegal commercial dumping is a felony. Residents are urged to report any instances to law enforcement.