Trash and debris in Albany worsens after Hurricane Michael

Trash and debris in Albany worsens after Hurricane Michael
Trash in an East Albany neighborhood.

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Litter has become a bigger problem in Albany in the months following Hurricane Michael.

City crews said people are putting their regular debris out, but they’re mixing it with their trash now.

“I try to keep my yard good," Sidney Johnson, an Albany resident, said. "Me and my cousin who stays next door there.”

Sidney Johnson has lived in his East Albany home for 20 years. (Source: WALB)
Sidney Johnson has lived in his East Albany home for 20 years. (Source: WALB)

It’s been 20 years since Johnson moved into his home in the Bush Street area.

Johnson and his cousin have made good on their word.

“He was out here, he cut his the other day," Johnson said. "I’ll probably go over there and knock it down a little bit.”

Johnson’s talking about all of the mowing he’s been doing. But his lawn mower can’t fix one problem the City of Albany has been facing: trash.

“If we let it stay on the street, it will be debris like you’re seeing right now. And it will take maybe two or three different trucks to pick up the style of debris that we have,” Michael Grier, solid waste department superintendent, said.

After Hurricane Michael in October, storm debris piles lined Albany streets. Which meant normal debris pick up was slower than usual.

Trash in an East Albany neighborhood. (Source: WALB)
Trash in an East Albany neighborhood. (Source: WALB)

Now, residents are getting frustrated and just dumping their trash and regular debris, creating a new problem.

“Talk to the citizens. See about separating the debris," Grier said. “But because of the way they’re setting it out now, we have to pick it, we can’t let it sit on the street.”

From all of the trash, to even things like shopping carts, crews said there is something you can do to help.

“We’ve been going out meeting with customers, so they can tell us what type of debris they have," Grier said. “Then we can tell them the best way to get rid of it.”

Michael Grier, solid waste department superintendent (Source: WALB)
Michael Grier, solid waste department superintendent (Source: WALB)

If you see any litter or illegal trash dumps, you’re also urged to report it through the 311 number.

“Somebody’s got to come back and move the junk they’ve got right there,” Johnson said.

Crews said once they know about the trash, and the litter, they can usually get it picked up within a week.

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