An ordinance defining litter, waste, public or private property, scrap tires, scrap tire generators, carriers and sorters; retail tire dealers, municipal, commercial and industrial solid waste, and recovered materials. Regulations for disposal, burning, burial and transportation of all solid waste, litter, waste and scrap tires, the use of solid waste or litter containers or receptacles, prescribing penalties for the violation of said Ordinance, and other purposes related thereto.
IT IS DECLARED to be the policy of Habersham County, Georgia, in furtherance of its responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and well being of its citizens and to protect and enhance the quality of its environment, to revise and update existing laws, and to institute and maintain a comprehensive county-wide program for all solid waste management which will assure that the storage, transportation, collection, and disposal of solid waste does not adversely affect the health, safety, and well being of the public and does not degrade the quality of the environment by their reason of location, design, method of operation or other means and which, to the extent feasible and practical, makes maximum utilization of the resources contained in solid waste referred to in this ordinance as recovered material.
IT IS FURTHER DECLARED to be the policy of Habersham County, Georgia to educate and encourage generators and handlers of all solid waste to reduce and minimize to the greatest extent possible the amount of solid waste which requires collection, treatment, or disposal through source reduction, reuse, composting, recycling, and other methods to promote markets for and engage in the purpose of goods made from recovered materials and goods which are recyclable.
THEREFORE, by power vested to the County through the Constitution of the State of Georgia, Article IX, Section II, Paragraph I, the Board of Commissioners of Habersham County does hereby ordain and enact into law the following:
SECTION I - DEFINITIONS
- The term “commercial solid waste” means all types of solid waste generated by stores, offices, restaurants, warehouses and other non-manufacturing activities, excluding residential and industrial wastes.1
1As defined in O.C.G.A. 12-8-22
- The term “county” means any area lying and being in unincorporated Habersham County, Georgia.
- The term “dump” means to throw, discard, place, deposit, discharge, bury, burn, or dispose of a substance.1
- The term “disposal facility” means any facility or location where the final deposition of solid waste occurs and includes, but is not limited to, landfilling and solid waste thermal treatment technology facilities.2
- The term “industrial waste” means solid waste generated by manufacturing or industrial processes or operations. Such waste includes, but not limited to, waste resulting from the following manufacturing processes: electric power generation; fertilizer and agricultural chemicals; food and related products and by-products; inorganic chemicals; iron and steel products; leather and leather products; nonferrous metal and foundry products; organic chemicals; plastics and resins; pulp and paper; rubber and miscellaneous plastic products; stone, glass, clay, and concrete products; textiles; transportation equipment; and water treatment. This term does not include mining waste or oil and gas waste.2
- The term “inert waste” means wastes that will not or are not likely to cause production of leachate of environmental concern. Such wastes are limited to earth and earth-like products, concrete, cured asphalt, rock, bricks, yard trimmings, stumps, limbs, and leaves. This definition excludes industrial and demolition waste not specifically listed.
- The term “litter” means all discarded sand, gravel, slag, brickbats, rubbish, waste material, tin cans, refuse, garbage, trash, debris, dead animals or other discarded materials of every kind and description which are not waste as such term is defined in this ordinance.3
- The term “municipal solid waste” means any solid waste derived from households, including garbage, trash, and sanitary waste in septic tanks and means solid waste from single-family and multifamily residences, hotels and motels, bunkhouses, campgrounds, picnic grounds, and day use recreation areas. The term includes yard trimmings and commercial solid waste, but does not include solid waste from mining, agricultural, or silvicultural operations or industrial processes or operations.2
1 – As defined in O.C.G.A. 16-7-51
2 – As defined in O.C.G.A. 12-8-22
3 – As defined in O.C.G.A. 16-7-42
- The term “open dump” means a disposal facility at which solid waste from one or more sources is left to decompose, burn or to otherwise create a threat to human health or the environment.1
- The term “person” means the State of Georgia or any other state or agency or institution thereof, and any municipality, county, political subdivision, public or private corporation, solid waste authority, special district empowered to engage in solid waste management activities, individual, partnership, association or other entity in Georgia or any other state. This term also includes any officer or governing or managing body of any municipality, political subdivision, solid waste authority, special district empowered to engage in solid waste activities, or public or private corporation in Georgia or any other state. This term also includes employees, departments, and agencies of the federal government.3
- The term “public or private property” means the right of way of any road or highway; any body of water or watercourse or the shores or beaches thereof; any park, playground, building, refuge, or conservation or recreation area; and residential or farm properties, timberlands, or forests.2
- The term “recovered materials” means those materials which have known use, reuse, or recycling potential; can be feasibly used, reused or recycled; and have been diverted or removed from the solid waste stream for sale, use, reuse or recycling, whether or not requiring subsequent separation and processing.3
- The term “recovered materials processing facility” means a facility engaged solely in the storage, processing, and resale or reuse of recovered materials. Such term shall not include a solid waste handling facility; provided, however, any solid waste generated by such facility shall be subject to all applicable laws and regulations relating to such solid waste.3
- The term “retail tire dealer” means a person actively engaged in the business of selling new replacement tires.4
- The term “scrap tire” means a tire that is no longer suitable for its original intended purpose because of wear, damage, or defect.4
1 – As defined in Section 391-3-4-.01 of the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management
2 – As defined in O.C.G.A. 16-7-42
3 – As defined in O.C.G.A. 12-8-22
4 – As defined in Section 391-3-4-.19 (2) of the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management
- The term “scrap tire carrier” means any person engaged in picking up or transporting scrap tires not otherwise exempted in the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management for the purpose of removal to a scrap tire processor, end user, or disposal facility.1
- The term “scrap tire generator” means any person who generates scrap tires. Generators may include, but are not limited to, retail tire dealers, retreaders, scrap tire processors, automobile dealers, private company vehicle maintenance shops, garages, service stations, and city, county, and state governments.1
- The term “scrap tire processor” means any person who is approved by the Environmental Protection Division to receive scrap tires from scrap tire generators or scrap tire carriers for the purpose of scrap tire processing.1
- The term “scrap tire sorter” means any person, other than the original scrap tire generator, who handles mixed tires by separating used tires and retreadable casings from scrap tires.1
- The term “solid waste” means any garbage or refuse; sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility; and other discarded material including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations and from community activities, but does not include recovered materials; solid or dissolved materials in domestic sewage; solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows or industrial discharges that are point sources3; or source, special nuclear, or by-product material4.2
- The term “solid waste handling” means the storage, collection, transportation, treatment, utilization, processing, or disposal of solid waste, or any combination of such activities.2
1 – As defined in Section 391-3-4-.19 (2) of the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management
2 – As defined in Section 391-3-4-.01 of the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management
3 – Subject to permit under 33 U.S.C. Section 1342
4 – As defined by the federal Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (68 Stat. 923)
- The term “waste” means all discarded substances and materials whatsoever exceeding ten pounds (10 lbs.) in weight or fifteen cubic feet (15 ft.³) in volume, or any such substance in any weight or volume if biomedical waste, hazardous waste3, a hazardous substance, or any such substance or material dumped for commercial purposes. With the exception of non-hazardous, low-impact animal by-products classified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, “waste” includes without limitation, sand, gravel, slag, brickbats, rubbish, waste material, tin cans, refuse, garbage, trash, debris, dead animals, bottles, boxes, containers, papers, tobacco products, tires, appliances, mechanical equipment or parts, building or construction materials, tools, machinery, wood, motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, vessels, aircraft equipment, waste oil, batteries, antifreeze, sludge from a wastewater treatment facility, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility, air contaminants from any source or facility, and any other discarded material or substance of every kind and description resulting from domestic, industrial, commercial, mining, or governmental operations.1
- The term “yard trimmings” means leaves, brush, grass clippings, shrub and tree prunings, discarded Christmas trees, nursery and greenhouse vegetative residuals, and vegetative matter resulting from landscaping development and maintenance other than mining, agricultural, and silvicultural operations.2
1 – As defined in O.C.G.A. 16-7-51
2 – As defined in O.C.G.A. 12-8-22
SECTION II - WASTE DISPOSAL - GENERAL
- The owner or occupant of any premises shall be responsible for the sanitary handling and disposal of all litter, waste, scrap tires, and municipal, commercial or industrial solid waste on the premises used or occupied by such person.
- It shall be unlawful to dump, open dump, or permit the dumping of litter, waste, scrap tires, municipal, commercial, or industrial solid waste or recyclables at any place in Habersham County including, and without limitations, in or on any public highway, road, street, alley, or thoroughfare, including any portion of the right of way thereof, any public or private property in the County or any waters in Habersham County unless such litter or waste originates in Habersham County or other areas authorized by the Habersham County Board of Commissioners AND:
- The property is designated by the Board of Commissioners or its duly designated agent for the disposal of litter, waste, municipal, commercial or industrial solid waste, scrap tires or recovered materials and the person is authorized to use such property;
- The litter, waste, municipal, commercial or industrial solid waste, recyclables or scrap tires is placed into a receptacle or container installed specifically for such property; AND
- The property has a valid solid waste handling permit issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) when required.
- All persons defined as scrap tire generators, scrap tire carriers, scrap tire processors, including scrap tire sorters, and retail tire dealers shall be subject to rules as defined in Chapter 391-3-4, et seq. of the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management and handle scrap tires in accordance with the provisions of O.C.G.A. 12-8-20, et seq. and the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management, Chapter 391-3-4, et seq. applicable to solid waste.
SECTION III - TRANSPORTING SOLID WASTE AND LITTER
- All vehicles, driving or stationary, within the county shall be so constructed, loaded, covered, or securely fastened so as to prevent municipal, commercial, or industrial solid waste or any load, contents, litter, or other such waste or materials from flowing freely, being blown, scattered, leaked, spilt, or in any manner deposited in or upon any highway, road, street, alley, or thoroughfare, including any portion of the right of way thereof, sidewalk, other motor vehicles, pedestrians, or other public place, or upon private property within the county. However, this section shall not prohibit the necessary and permitted spreading of any substance in public road maintenance or public road construction operations.
- It shall be unlawful for a business or private person(s) engaged in waste hauling or transportation for hire from businesses or private residences to dispose of materials as solid waste that have been intentionally sorted as recyclables by the business or private residence to a lawfully permitted disposal facility rather than placing the materials in the location designated by the County or appropriate authority for said recyclables.
- It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or move any vehicle within the county, the wheels or tires of which carry unto or deposit in or upon any highway, road, street, alley, or thoroughfare, including any portion of the right of way thereof, sidewalk, or other public place or upon private property within the county, mud, dirt, sticky substance, litter or foreign matter of any kind.
SECTION IV - REGULATION OF ALL SOLID WASTE OR LITTER CONTAINERS AND RECEPTACLES
- All solid waste or litter containers or receptacles and their surrounding area shall be maintained in as sanitary a manner as is reasonably possible consistent with its use for solid waste and litter disposal.
- Persons using solid waste and litter containers or receptacles shall deposit only authorized solid waste and refuse in the appropriate container or receptacle.
- No person shall deposit a scrap tire in any container or receptacle unless authorized by the owner of the receptacle or the Habersham County Board of Commissioners or their designee.
- No person shall deposit any burning or smoldering material in such container or receptacle, or set fire to the contents of any such container or receptacle.
- No person shall deposit large non-compatible articles in containers or receptacles such as but not limited to, stoves, refrigerators, bedsprings, automobile parts, boat parts, large tree limbs or air conditioning units, except containers or receptacles designated for that purpose only.
- No person shall deposit any flammable or explosive materials in any such container or receptacle.
- No dead animals shall be deposited in any such container or receptacle, except containers or receptacles designed for such purpose and so designated by the Habersham County Board of Commissioners.
- No person shall willfully damage or alter the location of any such container or receptacle without the written consent of the Habersham County Board of Commissioners.
- No salvage or scavenging operations shall be conducted in or around such containers or receptacles except by written consent of the Habersham County Board of Commissioners.
- No person shall indiscriminately scatter or disperse the contents of any containers or receptacles.
- No person shall deposit any solid waste at a county solid waste collection and recycling center unless such solid waste is contained in a manner that it can be handled by the attendant and shall be deposited only during the official hours of operation unless express written permission is given by the Habersham County Board of Commissioners or designee.
- No person shall deposit solid waste, litter or liquid of any kind at any county solid waste collection and recycling center into county owned receptacles or containers designated for the collection of recovered materials. Only authorized materials such as glass, aluminum, newspaper, cardboard, plastic, and tin or other accepted material may be deposited in the appropriate container designated for said material.<.li>
SECTION V - REGULATION OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILLS, INERT LANDFILLS, CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION LANDFILLS, AND SOLID WASTE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING CENTERS
- No landfill shall be operated in Habersham County, Georgia other than a landfill designated by the Habersham County Board of Commissioners as the county landfill, and no private municipal solid waste landfill shall be operated in Habersham County, Georgia, without a solid waste handling permit issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
- No person shall deposit solid waste of any kind outside the gate of a solid waste collection and recycling center.
- No scavenging operation of any kind shall be allowed at a solid waste collection and recycling center.
- No person shall move, remove, or cross any fence, gate, barrier, or sign at a solid waste collection and recycling center.
- Price on solid waste brought to said center will be set to defray total cost of solid waste and recycling operations.
- Hours of operation of said centers will be set to maximize convenience to residents of that area.
- All recovered materials (recyclables) brought to collection centers will be accepted free of charge provided, it is not metal and is separated under current market specifications and likewise uncontaminated.
- All collection centers will be manned during hours of operation to ensure compliance with this ordinance and all applicable state and/or federal laws.
- Attendant on duty will have full authority of said center consistent with this ordinance.
- All rules listed above shall apply to all public and/or private property in said County, all waters and/or waterways of said County, and all Habersham County Solid Waste Collection and Recycling Centers.
SECTION VI – RECOVERED MATERIALS
- Recovered materials and recovered materials processing facilities are subject to rules as defined in Chapter 391-3-4, et seq. of the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management.
SECTION VII – ACCUMULATION
- No owner or occupant of any such property shall bury or burn litter or waste without prior authorization and written consent from the applicable regulatory agency, including but not limited to, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia Environmental Protection Division and/or the Georgia Forestry Commission. Nothing in this provision shall authorize or be construed to permit the burial or burning of any material which is otherwise prohibited by state and/or federal law.
- No owner or occupant of any property shall cause, suffer or allow the accumulation, on his or her premises, of garbage, litter or waste where such material creates or causes a health hazard to neighbors or other citizens, or which is unsightly or emits foul or obnoxious odors.
- The conduct described in Paragraphs (A) and (B) of this Section VII shall constitute a separate violation of the ordinance for each day the garbage, litter or waste material remains or continues to unlawfully pollute, contaminate or burn on such premises.
SECTION VIII – VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
- Any person(s), firm, or corporation violating any portion of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, in the Magistrate Court of Habersham County, shall be punished as follows:
- For the first offense: By a fine of not less than $100.00 and not more than $1,000.001, or up to 30 days imprisonment, or both. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. However, this section shall not preclude the County from choosing to seek civil redress in a court of competent jurisdiction in addition to the criminal prosecution, it being the intent of the County to have both the civil and criminal rights of prosecution in this area;
- For the second or more offense(s): The violator shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature punishable by a fine of not less than $750.00 and not more than $1,000.00, or up to 60 days imprisonment, or both. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense; and/or
- In the sound discretion of the Judge of the Court with jurisdiction, the person may also be directed to pick up and remove from any public street or highway and/or other public right of way for a distance not to exceed one mile, any litter the person has deposited and any and all litter deposited thereon by anyone else prior to the date of execution of sentence2; and/or
- In the sound discretion of the Judge of the Court with jurisdiction, the person may be directed to pick up and remove from any public beach, public park, private right of way, or with the prior permission of the legal owner or tenant in lawful possession of such property, any private property upon which it can be established by competent evidence that the person has deposited litter, any and all litter deposited thereon by anyone prior to the date of execution of sentence3; and/or
- The Court may order the publication of the names and photographs of persons convicted of violating this ordinance; and/or
- The Court may order the person to repair or restore property damaged, or pay damages resulting from such violations, or perform public service related to the repair or restoration of property damaged by the violation4; and/or
- In case of an open dump or improper solid waste, litter or waste disposal site, the property owner, contractor, developer, builder or other person responsible for the property shall cause the property to be cleaned and to come into full compliance with this ordinance. Habersham County shall not be responsible for any costs of cleanup or remediation; and/or
1 – As provided in O.C.G.A. section 16-7-43 (b.1)
2 – As provided in O.C.G.A. section 16-7-43 (b.2)
3 – As provided in O.C.G.A. section 16-7-43 (b.3)
4 – As provided in O.C.G.A. section 16-7-53 (d)
- The expenses incurred by the County for cleanup, enforcement of violations and penalties shall be chargeable to the violator, including, but not limited to: court costs, filing fees, special investigations, mutual aid assistance from other agencies and other costs necessary for the reasonable enforcement of this ordinance.
- In addition to actions filed by Habersham County for violations of this ordinance, any State or Federal agency may independently file separate or concurrent charges within their respective applicable authority and seek conviction within a Court of competent jurisdiction.
SECTION IX – ENFORCEMENT
- Enforcement of this ordinance shall be the responsibility of the Habersham County Board of Commissioners, the Chief Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee and/or the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office.
- Any person(s) authorized to enforce this ordinance shall be empowered to enter any property, upon reasonable cause, at reasonable or necessary times in order to properly inspect for violations of this ordinance, subject to the condition that to allow entry onto private property for inspection, the alleged violation of this ordinance must be visible from a public road or right of way, or upon said person(s) having received a valid complaint alleging a violation of this ordinance, or by a Judge’s Order upon said person(s) having received information/allegations that constitute reasonable suspicion that a serious unlawful act or threat to the health and safety of the community and/or the environment has occurred or is about to occur.
- Appeals for the violation of this ordinance may be made to the Magistrate Court of Habersham County, or higher Court if the person so chooses. The person always has the right to consult his/her attorney at any time before the hearing is scheduled for Court.
SECTION X – CIVIL REMEDIES AND ABATEMENT OF NUISANCE
- In the event that any person violates any provision of this ordinance, the County or other appropriate authority may, in addition to other remedies, institute an action for injunction, cleanup or stop work orders, mandamus, irreversible damage fines, lien on property or other appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such unlawful acts or to correct or abate any such violation1. In addition, the County may immediately revoke or suspend any and all business, building, development or any and all other County issued permits related to the property or properties involved with the violation until such time that compliance is met, or until the ruling of a Court of competent jurisdiction is obtained, at which time respective permits may be reissued.
- Upon finding evidence, a written Notice of Violation may be issued at the discretion of the enforcing officer(s) in lieu of a citation. In the absence of corrective action or in the event that a second violation occurs, the evidence constituting the Notice of Violation may be submitted as evidence for consideration as a first offense before a Court with competent jurisdiction and the pending case treated as a second offense by the Court as defined in Paragraph (A)(2) of Section VIII of this Ordinance.
- If a person is found guilty of a violation of the provisions of this ordinance, the Court and/or the Board of Commissioners may cause written notice to be given, or incorporate into the Court Order to the violator instructing that person to properly address any provision still remaining in violation of this ordinance for which said violator is convicted. Such notice shall be by personal service and in the event the violator cannot be so served, then by registered mail sent to the violator’s last known address.
- Upon failure, neglect or refusal of any person so notified to properly address said provisions within 20 days after receipt of notice as provided in this Section, the Board of Commissioners is hereby authorized and empowered to cause the cleanup, removal or disposal of, including but not limited to, any litter, or any type of waste(s) as defined in this ordinance, dumped, deposited, thrown, or left on public or private property in violation of the ordinance on behalf of the County. The expenses incurred by the County shall be chargeable to the violator and the Board of Commissioners and/or the Court shall send a statement of the amount due for said expenses by registered mail.
1 – As provided in O.C.G.A. sections 16-7-52, 16-7-53
- When the full amount of such charges are not paid by the violator within 30 days after receipt of said statement as provided for in this Section, the Board of Commissioners shall cause to be recorded in the Execution Docket a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred by the County, the dates of County action, the location of the property for which action was taken, and the name of the person to be charged for the expenses incurred. The recordation of such statement shall constitute a lien on the personal and real property of the person to be charged and shall remain in full force and effect until final payment is received in full, including accrued interest from the date of recording and any and all costs. Such amount as shall constitute final payment shall be subject to collection in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes.
- This Section X shall apply with full force and effect regardless of the provisions of any order of the Court in which the violator was convicted. This section should not be construed as an excuse for failure on the part of the violator to perform any cleanup ordered by the Court, nor shall it be considered as a mitigating factor in any contempt action against a violator who has failed to obey the order of the Court.
SECTION XI – EVIDENCE OF VIOLATIONS
- Whenever litter, or any type of waste(s) as defined in this ordinance, is thrown, deposited, dropped, or dumped by any person(s) or from any motor vehicle, boat, airplane, or other conveyance in violation of this ordinance, it shall be prima facie evidence that said person(s) or the operator of the conveyance has violated this ordinance.
- Whenever any litter, or any type of waste(s) as defined in this ordinance, which is dumped, deposited, thrown, or left on public or private property in violation of the ordinance is discovered to contain any article or articles, including, but not limited to letters, bills, publications, or other writings which display the name of a person thereon in such a manner as to indicate that the article belongs or belonged to such person, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that such person has violated this ordinance.
SECTION XII – YARD TRIMMINGS
- Yard trimmings shall not be placed in or mixed with solid waste. Yard trimmings shall not be disposed at any solid waste disposal facility having liners and leachate collection systems or requiring vertical expansion within the County. Yard trimmings shall be sorted and stockpiled or chipped, composted, used as mulch or otherwise beneficially reused or recycled to the maximum extent feasible. Any yard trimmings to be collected by any entity other than the property owner shall be sorted and stored in such a manner as to facilitate collection, composting, or other handling.
SECTION XIII – RECYCLING
- The Habersham County Board of Commissioners hereby finds that it is in the best interest of citizens of Habersham County, in order to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the County, to recycle as many waste materials as possible in order to reduce the accumulation of litter and garbage and solid waste materials which must be properly disposed of; therefore, it is the policy of the Habersham County Board of Commissioners to encourage recycling whenever practicable.
SECTION XIV - SEVERABILITY
- Should any sentence, section, subsection or provision of this Ordinance or application of a provision of this Ordinance be declared invalid or unconstitutional by any Court or other competent jurisdiction, such declaration shall not affect the validity of the Ordinance as a whole or any part thereof that is not specifically declared to be invalid or unconstitutional.
SECTION XV - REPEAL OF CONFLICTING RESOLUTIONS OR ORDINANCES
- Therefore, be it ordained that all conflicting resolutions, ordinances or parts or sections of resolutions or ordinances in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed.
- Be it further ordained that this ordinance shall take effect on the first day of the month after passage by the Habersham County Board of Commissioners, and shall be enforced from and after such date, the public health and welfare demanding it.
So adopted and approved by the Board of Commissioners of Habersham County, Georgia.