Illegal dumping causes big problem in Madison Heights

Waste haulers representing several participating communities in the South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) have beendumping garbage in open outdoor piles at the SOCRRA facility in Madison Heights on John R Road.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that such activity had been occurring since Aug. 15, and that according to on-site SOCRRA personnel, between 2,000 and 3,000 tons of garbage have been deposited there.

The illegal dumping of thousands of tons of garbage in Madison Heights represents a direct and imminent threat to the public's health, safety and welfare; and upon verification of the activity, police and code enforcement personnel immediately shut down the operation. The city is currently and will continue to take appropriate legal action under city code to decrease the immediate health threat. In addition, the city attorney's office is currently reviewing further appropriate legal options to pursue, as well.

The city claims that while many communities are experiencing extreme conditions due to the cleanup from last week's flood, they find it unacceptable that SOCRRA would think it's appropriate to dump open garbage on a site unlicensed for that kind of use. The urgency of the health implications from odors, rodents, birds and the likelihood of contamination due to the amount and type of waste being dumped has played an important part in the city's immediate reaction.

Madison Heights has also been experiencing extraordinary trash volumes, but has properly disposed of all garbage to licensed sanitary landfills. They also have worked with waste haulers to extend service hours, days, and crews to accelerate removal of the waste as quickly as possible.

City officials say they would have never thought of taking its waste to any location other than a licensed sanitary landfill, and they will continue to take every appropriate action to ensure that the site is cleaned up immediately and that no further illegal dumping occurs.

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