Two Floyd County residents are paying the maximum fine and were placed on probation for dumping eight bags of garbage near a county park this year.
On Nov. 30, District Judge Jimmy Marcum sentenced Garrett residents Melissa R. Dunn, 42, and Ciera Roby, 30, to 12 months in jail, probated for one year under the condition they have no further violations of the law. Nunn and Roby were also ordered to each pay a $500 fine and to clean up their trash.
“If you’re caught dumping trash in this county, you will be prosecuted,” Assistant County Attorney Tyler Green said. “You could go to jail. You’ll face fines and be required to clean up your mess.”
Nunn and Roby were charged with one count of criminal littering in July, following an investigation into an illegal garbage dump on Ky. 777 near the Elkhorn Educational and Recreational Park.
Floyd County Code Enforcement Officer Randy Bryant said county road abatement workers discovered the illegal dump and he examined contents of bags of garbage and discovered the names and addresses of Dunn and Roby on several documents.
He supervises litter abatement crews that pick up trash throughout the year on county roads. He said the amount of litter dumped on county roads has decreased over the 12 years he’s worked with the county, but said it’s still a problem. He described it as an “ongoing fight.”
Nunn and Roby were order to pay the maximum fine in this case. They were tried in absence in October and found guilty in district court.
A bench warrant was issued against them after they failed to appear for their court trial in October. The county attorney’s office, however, agreed to recall the warrant because they came to that office afterwards, Green said.
Green said he’s satisfied with the verdict, noting that both Dunn and Roby were both first-time offenders.
“I am satisfied that with a probated sentence, they will be deterred from dumping garbage on the side of the road ever again,” he said.
Both he and Bryant said they hope the sentence in this case will deter others from dumping trash.
“Obviously, we want to deter people from dumping garbage on the side of the road or on private property,” Green said. “We also want to encourage people to use the county’s garbage service to pick up their garbage legally, like all citizens are required to do. Garbage on the side of the road takes away from Eastern Kentucky and the beauty of the county. It lowers property value for others. It can be dangerous in certain situations, if there are hazardous substances or needles in garbage. So, we just want people to dispose of their garbage the way that they’re legally required to do.”
Bryant encourages Floyd County residents to dispose of garbage legally, either by having it collected through Waste Connections or by taking it to the transfer station at Garth.
“They can go to the transfer station, and they’ll charge them by weight, but it’s not very expensive at all,” Bryant said. “Like a truckload of garbage is probably $15 or $20, but it costs the county a lot to get over a hill or in a holler to clean that mess up. Plus, once it’s dumped in a stream or something, it already has an impact on the environment.”
Floyd County Fiscal Court officials have repeatedly encouraged residents to dispose of their garbage at the transfer station, pledging to offer free tipping for residents who can’t afford to dispose of large items.
Bryant said residents who need help dumping large items to contact him at, (606) 886-9193.