Solid Waste Management Ordinance of Oconee County Georgia

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For the purpose of promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the unincorporated areas of Oconee County and to provide an orderly and safe disposal of waste, the Board of Commissioners does hereby ordain and enact into law the following:


Section 1. Title.  This Ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the Solid Waste Management Ordinance.

Section 2. Definitions. All terms used herein shall have the definitions ascribed to them in O.C.G.A. Chapter 8, Article 12, O.C.G.A. Chapter 7, Article 16, and in Ga. Comp. R. & Regs 391-3-4-.01, all as are in effect on January 5, 2015.  “County” shall mean either Oconee County or the Oconee County Board of Commissioners and its designees as the case may require.


Section 1. Solid Waste Disposal Generally.
A. The owner or occupant of any premises shall be responsible for the sanitary handling and disposition of solid waste,  including, without limitation, litter, scrap tires and refuse on the premises used or occupied by such person. 
B. No solid waste may be brought into the County and left in the County.
C. No solid waste may be disposed of in the County except at a facility permitted by the Georgia Environmental Protection Department of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, herein “Permitted Facility”.  Such permitted disposal shall include disposing of same by contracting with a Solid Waste Hauler licensed by the County under the provisions of this Ordinance.  

Section 2. Transporting Solid Waste. 

A. It shall be unlawful to drive or operate a vehicle in the county hauling wet or moist solid waste which leaks, flows freely or spills from such vehicle.  
B. It shall be unlawful for any vehicle to transport solid waste on any public streets, or roadways, in the county without suitable coverings or other restraint devices securely fastening such litter or waste to the vehicle so as to prevent any materials from being deposited on the roads or adjoining areas of the county. This section shall not prohibit the necessary spreading of any substance in public road maintenance or public road construction operations. 

Section 3. Regulation of Garbage or Litter Containers or Receptacles
Maintained on Public Property. 

A. Persons utilizing garbage or litter containers or receptacles provided on public property, including, without limitation, any County Collection Centers, shall abide by all rules and regulations posted by the County, which shall include, without limitation, the following provisions.  
B. All garbage or litter containers or receptacles shall be used in a sanitary manner by persons depositing garbage or litter therein and shall deposit only authorized garbage and refuse therein. 
C. No person shall deposit any burning or smoldering material in any such therein.
D. No person shall set fire to the contents of any such container or receptacle. 
E. No dead animals shall be deposited in any such container or receptacle 
F. No person shall deposit large non-compactible articles in such containers or receptacles such as stoves, refrigerators, bed springs, mattresses, tires, large tree limbs, air conditioning units or similar items, without permission from the County through its attendants at any Collection Center. 
G. No person shall deposit any flammable or explosive materials in any such containers or receptacles. 
H. No person shall place or scatter litter or waste around such containers or receptacles. 
 I. No person shall willfully damage or alter the location of any such container or receptacle without the express consent of the Board of Commissioners. 
J. No salvage or scavenging operations shall be conducted in or around such containers or receptacles except by expressly authorized county personnel. 
K. The provisions listed in subsections B through H herein shall also be applicable to any containers or receptacles which are to be collected by any person and deposited into a Permitted Facility.

Section 4. Accumulation. 

A. No owner or occupant of any premises shall allow litter or waste to accumulate thereon. No owner or occupant of any such property shall bury or burn litter or waste without prior authorization and permission from the applicable regulatory agency. Nothing in this provision shall authorize or be construed to permit the burial or burning of any material which is otherwise prohibited by state or federal law. 
B. No owner or occupant of any property shall allow the accumulation on his premises of garbage 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. 
C. It shall be unlawful for any person to set fire to the contents of, indiscriminately scatter or disperse the contents of, or otherwise vandalize any containers used for the storage or dumping of litter or waste. 
D. No solid waste may be disposed of by any person in an open dump, nor may any person cause, suffer, allow or permit open dumping on his property as defined by Ga. Comp. R. & Regs  391-3-4-.04, of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
1.  A person shall be presumed to have violated this provision if, upon written notification that litter or solid waste has been dumped on that person's property, not otherwise subject to the provisions of O.C.G.A. Section 16-7-51, through 16-7-54, that person fails to provide the County, within fifteen days of notification, with written assurance that the accumulation of litter or solid waste will be properly disposed of within thirty days from the original date of notification.
2.  No person who first informs the County in writing that illegal dumping has occurred on a particular parcel of that person's property shall be deemed to have violated this provision, if such person provides written assurance all accumulated litter or solid waste will be properly disposed of within forty-five days of the date of such written notification and subsequently provides proof of such disposal.
Section 5. Injurious Substances on Rights of Way.

A. No person shall throw or deposit upon any right of way any solid waste, including, without limitation, glass bottles, glass, nails, tacks, wire, caps, rubbish, litter, garbage, trash or other material. 
B. Any person removing a wrecked or damaged vehicle from a highway shall remove any glass or other injurious substance dropped upon the highway from such vehicle if practicable, and if not, shall reimburse the County for its costs in doing so.

Section 6. Landfill regulations. 

A. Persons utilizing the landfill operated by the County shall abide by all rules and regulations posted by the County, which shall include, without limitation, the following provisions.  
B. Solid waste shall be only deposited into designated areas. 
C. No person shall set fire to any materials at the landfill. 
D. No smoldering or burning material shall be delivered or deposited at the landfill. 
E. No person shall move, remove, or cross any fence, gate, barrier, or signs at the landfill, without permission from the County. 
F. Municipal solid waste and inert waste shall be separated.  Inert waste is limited to earth and earth-like products, concrete, cured asphalt, rock, bricks, yard trimmings, stumps, limbs and leaves. 
G. No salvage or scavenging operation shall be allowed at the landfill except when expressly authorized by the County. 
H. No one shall deposit any litter outside of the gate of the landfill. 
I. No landfill shall be operated in the County other than a landfill designated by the County as the county landfill and which is a Permitted Facility.
Section 7. Yard trimmings. Yard trimmings should be sorted and stockpiled or chipped, composted, used as mulch, or otherwise beneficially reused or recycled to the extent feasible. Any yard trimmings to be collected by any entity other than the property owner should be sorted and stored in such a manner as to facilitate collection, composting or other handling. 

Section 8. Recycling.  The County hereby finds that it is in the best interest of the citizens of the county, in order to promote the health, safety, welfare and morals 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 material within the county and to reduce the overall solid waste materials which must be properly disposed of. Therefore, it is the policy of the County to encourage recycling whenever practicable. 


Section 1. General.

A. No person shall engage in solid waste handling in a manner which will be conducive to insect and rodent infestation or the harboring and feeding of wild dogs or other animals; impair the air quality; impair the quality of the ground or surface waters; impair the quality of the environment; create other hazards to the public health, safety or well-being; or violate any state or federal laws related to same. 
B.  The provisions of this Ordinance apply to all persons presently engaged in solid waste handling as well as all persons proposing to engage in solid waste handling.

Section 2. Exemptions.

A.   The provisions of this Ordinance shall not prevent and it shall not be a violation of this Ordinance for any individual to dispose of solid wastes originating from his own residence onto land or facilities owned by him when disposal of such wastes does not adversely affect the public health or violate state or federal law.  Nothing in this Ordinance shall limit the right of any person to use poultry or other animal manure for fertilizer.
B. The provisions of this Article shall not apply to owners of record of all one and two family dwellings, condominiums or multifamily dwelling units who dispose of solid waste by self-hauling such waste to a Permitted Facility or to a Collection Center operated by the County.  Failure to provide evidence of proper disposal upon request by the County (receipts, cancelled checks or other proof of payment) shall be a violation.
C. The Provisions of this Article shall not apply to any person collecting and disposing of municipal solid waste, commercial solid waste, construction/demolition waste or industrial waste, but not charging a fee, and who is a holder of a valid solid waste handling permits from the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources pursuant to Ga. Comp. R. & Regs 391-3-4-.02 and -.06 for disposal or on-site burial and who disposes of same pursuant to state law.
D. No provision of this Ordinance shall be deemed to require the County to secure a license or to otherwise engage in any acts not required by provisions of either state or federal law.

Section 3. Prohibited Acts.

A. No person shall engage in solid waste handling except in such a manner as to conform to and comply with this Ordinance and all applicable state and federal legislation, rules, regulation and orders.
B. No person shall collect and dispose of municipal solid waste for a fee without obtaining a license from Oconee County.
C. The owner or occupant of any premises, office, business establishment, institution, industry or similar facility shall be responsible for the collection and transportation of all solid waste accumulated at the premises, office, business establishment, institution or similar facility to a solid waste handling facility operating in compliance with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Rules and Regulations unless arrangements have been made for such services with a collector operating in compliance with this Ordinance.

Section 4. Licenses.

A. Non-exclusive licenses for residential or commercial collection and disposal shall be granted upon application to Oconee County provided licenses meet at least the minimum requirements set out in Section Six.  Licenses for the collection and disposal of solid waste shall be granted for a period of one calendar year from January 1 to December 31.
B. Licensees must agree to provide collection services in residential areas only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Oconee County reserves the discretionary authority to revoke or rescind any such license in the interest of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Oconee County.

Section 5. Requirements for Licensees.

A. Permit.  Prior to engaging in solid waste handling in Oconee County, a licensee must have obtained a solid waste handling permit from the Director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources or any successor agency authorized to issue permits pursuant to O.C.G.A. §12-8-24.
B. Insurance.  At the time of submission of a license application and prior to engaging in solid waste handling in Oconee County, and, annually thereafter, each licensee shall provide to Oconee County, proof of insurance as follows:
1. Statutory workers' compensation insurance.
a)  Employer's liability for bodily injury by accident - $100,000.00 each accident.
b)  Employer's liability for bodily injury by disease - $500,000.00 policy limit, $100,000.00 each employee.
2. Comprehensive general liability insurance - $1,000,000.00.
3. Vehicle liability.
a)  $500,000.00 limit per occurrence for bodily injury and property damage.
b)  Comprehensive coverage on all owned, non-owned and hired vehicles.
c)  All insurance contracts must specify vehicles for "solid waste collection."
4. Umbrella liability insurance coverage at least as broad as primary coverage in an amount of $100,000.00.
5. All comprehensive general liability, vehicle liability, and umbrella liability policies shall show the County as an additional insured and shall provide for thirty (30) days’ notice of cancellation to the County.
C. Indemnification.  Each Licensee shall, at its sole cost and expense, fully indemnify, defend and hold harmless the County, its officers, boards, commissions, employees and agents against any and all claims, suits, actions, liability and judgments from third parties for damages which may be the result of willful, negligent or tortious conduct or operations arising out of the business of collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste, whether or not the action or omission complained of is authorized, allowed or prohibited by this Ordinance.
D. Financial Stability.
1. All licensees shall, prior to engaging in solid waste handling in the County, give fidelity bond, payable to the County in an amount equal to the average revenue anticipated from three (3) months collections not to exceed $500,000.00, but in no event less than $10,000.00.  Such bonds shall be adjusted yearly based on the quarterly average of the previous year's actual revenue. Alternately, licensees may provide an irrevocable letter of credit in lieu of bond.
2. All licensees shall, prior to engaging in solid waste handling in Oconee County, post a performance bond in an amount of $15,000.00. Alternatively, licensees may provide an irrevocable letter of credit in lieu of bond.
3. In lieu of separate bonds or letters of credit described in (1) and (2) above, licensees may provide an equivalent license bond at the time of application which encompasses both fidelity and performance.  The amount of such bond must be acceptable to Oconee County, but in no event may be less than $25,000.00.
E. Vehicles.
1. All vehicles and containers used for collection operations shall comply with the requirements of Ga. Comp. R. & Regs Rule 391-3-4-.06 the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, and must be compactor-type trucks, covered or enclosed vehicles.  All vehicles must be constructed to be substantially leak-proof, constructed of durable metal, easily cleanable and able to prevent litter from escaping during movement of the vehicle.
2. Vehicles and containers shall meet all requirements of the Georgia Department of Transportation for highway safety and local ordinances governing weight and size for the streets which must be traveled for pick-up.  All vehicles shall be subject to unannounced inspection by County officials for compliance with environmental and highway safety standards and shall have in at least six inch letters, conspicuously placed on the vehicle, the name and telephone number of the licensee. 
3. Licensees shall provide an adequate number of vehicles for regular collection services.  Nothing in this article shall prohibit licensees from sharing back-up vehicles with other licensees provided that such sharing is adequately covered by insurance.
4. Vehicles used exclusively for collecting and transporting recovered materials shall be exempt from this entire article except that an adequate cover shall be used to prevent litter from escaping during movement.
F. Reporting Requirements. Within thirty (30) days following the close of each calendar quarter ending March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31 of each year of operation, licensee shall submit to Oconee County reports of operation showing the following, which shall be compiled for state reporting purposes:
1. Gross collection revenues and average number of customers during quarter by service type;
2. Tonnage figures showing total waste tonnage collected by service type;
3. Tonnage figures showing total recovered materials collected by type and proof of recycling in the form of manifests, bills of sale or other records showing adequate proof of movement of the material to a recognized recycling facility;
4. Proof of disposal of non-recovered materials at state approved disposal facilities and name of each such facility; and
5. Licensee shall maintain at its place of business books and records showing the names and addresses of all owners and tenants with whom licensee contracted for solid waste handling services, including the street address for the property served.  Licensee shall submit upon reasonable request of Oconee County to a financial audit by a certified public accountant or auditor employed by Oconee County.  Except for the operating reports described in subparagraphs 1-4 above, the information provided in accordance with this section shall be confidential, to the extent permissible by the Georgia Open Records Act.

Section 6. License Fees.

A. An annual license fee of $500.00 shall be paid by each licensee to the County.  This license fee may be changed by the Board of Commissioners by adoption of a new fee in its annual adopted budget.
B. A surcharge fee equivalent to the true cost of providing solid waste management services on a per ton or volume equivalent determined as provided in O.C.G.A. § 12-8-39, on solid waste received, collected, handled or disposed of at any private landfill or other private disposal facility, except inert landfills, presently located within the County is hereby imposed upon the operator(s) of said facilities in accordance with Section 12-8-39 (d), Official Code of Georgia.

Section 7. Residential Services.

All licensees granted a license for solid waste collection and removal shall provide a minimum of the following services:
A. Licensee shall provide weekly curb service collection of residential waste packaged as approved pursuant to this Ordinance, except as otherwise set out herein.  Each licensee shall set uniform fees for collection, and charges for residential collection and removal services shall be charged to the owners of the real property served, except that by requesting services, any tenant may become jointly bound to pay same.  Rates for a licensee's services shall be uniform within the County.
B. Licensees shall bill customers for service based on the volume of residential waste generated.  Oconee County assumes no responsibility to licensee for the failure of any customer to make payments.  Licensees shall cooperate fully in any legal action taken by Oconee County for failure of any owner or resident to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance.
C. For all residential customers desiring to voluntarily participate in recycling, licensee shall collect such materials at least once per week, pursuant to a county-provided list of guidelines.
1. Licensees shall provide recycling containers to customers.
2. Licensees shall not dispose of recovered materials in landfills.
3. No additional fee, over the amount charged for curbside collection of residential waste, shall be charged by the licensee for regular collections of recovered materials every week.
4. All licensees must agree to participate fully in recycling.

Section 8.  Elderly and disabled.

A. Nothing in this Ordinance is intended to prohibit the licensee from offering discounts to senior citizens or the disabled.
B. Any person who is a full-time resident of a residential dwelling unit as described above and who is disabled to the extent that he is incapable of moving his refuse shall not be required to place the refuse at the curbside.  Licensees may make reasonable rules for non-curbside collection for elderly and disabled persons.
C. Licensees shall provide recycling services to disabled persons to the same extent such services may be provided under Section Seven.

Section 9. General Conditions of Residential Collection.

A. Occupants of one and two family dwelling units, condominiums or multi-family dwelling units not served by commercial container shall place refuse receptacles, rubbish and bundles on assigned collection days, at roadside locations in such a manner as not to obstruct passage.  Occupants shall place such refuse at appropriate locations prior to the arrival of the collection vehicles.  This placement shall not be made before noon on the day prior to collection day.  
B. Occupants shall remove containers from such locations to storage locations, which shall be nearer to the residential unit located on the premises than to any street abutting the premises; removal should be accomplished within a reasonable time following collection on the day the contents are emptied and collected.
C. Solid waste generated from the conduct of customary home occupations carried on from residential dwelling units will be collected on a residential fee basis.
D. All trash and refuse will be collected by the licensee if placed in receptacles.  No open containers or untied plastic bags shall be permitted.
E. Recovered materials will be collected by the licensee at least weekly if placed in designated containers properly placed for collection at the curbside.
F. During any week in which there is a legal holiday or extremely harsh weather conditions, such as snow or ice, licensees shall be required to collect residential solid waste once during such week.
G. Nothing in this Ordinance shall prevent customers from contracting with licensees for additional services at additional costs.
H. A list of all current licensees will be available for public inspection in the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Commissioners.
I. Oconee County reserves the right at all times to direct and control the time, place and manner of residential solid waste handling and disposal

Section 10. Commercial Services. Applicants for commercial licenses are subject to the same requirements for a solid waste handling permit as are residential licensees under this Ordinance.

Section 11. General Conditions of Commercial Collection.

A. The owner or occupant of any premises, office, business establishment, institution or industry or similar commercial establishment shall be responsible for the collection and transportation of all solid waste accumulated at such premises, establishment or facility to either a solid waste handling facility operating in compliance with state regulation with service by an approved licensee or to a collection center operated by Oconee County; however, Oconee County may direct such owner or occupant to not use the collection center based on the volume generated. Holders of a valid Solid Waste Handling Permit from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources shall be exempt from such contracting but shall comply with the requirements of Subsection 5D, 5E, and 5F 2, 3 and 4.
B. Oconee County reserves the right at all times to direct and control the time, place and manner of commercial solid waste handling and disposal.

Section 12. Termination of Licenses.

A. Licenses may be terminated by mutual agreement of Oconee County and licensee at any time.  Licensees may terminate licenses by giving sixty (60) days’ notice to Oconee County that all advance payments have been used by providing a service or have been refunded.
B. Oconee County shall notify any licensee of violations by the licensee of this Ordinance.  Upon notification of the alleged violation, a licensee shall have seven (7) calendar days to comply with any directive to correct any such violation.  If licensee shall fail to comply within seven (7) days of notification, or shall have received five (5) notices of alleged violations in a license area during any quarter, or at the discretion of the County, a hearing shall be held before the Board of Commissioners, or its administrative hearing officer, with the licensee being notified in writing of the time and place of the hearing and the violation of this Ordinance which has not been corrected.  Licensee will be given the opportunity to appear by representative or counsel to answer any such charge by the County.  Should the Board of Commissioners determine any of the provisions of this Ordinance have been violated by licensee; the governing authority shall have in its discretion, the absolute right to suspend or revoke the license or provide for probation for the licensee.  Any licensee who is found to have violated any of the provisions of this Ordinance by a court of law following the appeal procedures outlined in Section Thirteen (b) shall be subject to the same penalty and may also be restrained from operating as a licensee and a civil action may be filed by Oconee County.  
C. Licenses are non-transferable.

Section 13. Exceptions.

Oconee County may grant exceptions to these rules provided licensees make written application showing the following: (1) the method proposed utilizes a new, experimental, cost effective or innovative technology, concept or theory of solid waste storage, collection, transportation or disposal; (2) the method proposed does not create a health hazard to the public; and (3) any exception granted does not violate other requirements of this Ordinance or other State or Federal law. Any exception granted shall be for a one (1) year term and shall be non-renewable.  At the end of six (6) months of operation of the excepted method, the licensee shall submit data sufficient to enable a determination of success of the method.  If found to be acceptable to Oconee County, this Ordinance may be amended to allow such method without exception.


Section 1. Violations and penalties.
A. Any person violating any portion of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00 or more than $1,000.00 or up to 60 days imprisonment, or both. Each day the violation continues shall be a separate offense. 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. 
B. In the sound discretion of a court in which conviction is obtained, the violator may be directed to pick up and remove from any public street or highway or 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 sentence. 
C. In the sound discretion of the court in which conviction is obtained, the person may be directed to pick up and remove from any 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 thereon, and all litter deposited thereon by anyone prior to the date of execution of sentence. 
D. The court may publish the names of persons convicted of violating this article. 
E. In the case of an improper garbage 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 article. The county shall not be responsible for any costs of cleanup or remediation. 
Section 2. Enforcement. Any person or persons authorized to enforce this article shall be empowered to enter any property, upon reasonable cause, at reasonable times in order to inspect the property for violations of the Ordinance, subject to the condition that to allow entry on private property for inspection, the alleged violation must be visible from a public road or right-of-way, or upon such officer having received a written complaint signed by three residents of separate households of the county alleging a violation of this article. The Magistrate Court of the County shall also be authorized to issue summons for hearings on alleged violations of this county upon written accusation of any person sui juris alleging such violation. 

Section 3. Civil remedies and abatement of nuisance. If any person violates any provision of this Ordinance, the county attorney or other appropriate authority of the County may, in addition to other remedies, institute an action for injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such unlawful act or to correct or abate such violation.  

Section 4. Evidence of violations. 

A. Whenever litter is thrown, deposited, dropped, or dumped from any motor vehicle, boat, airplane, or other conveyance in violation of this article, it shall be prima facie evidence that the operator of the conveyance has violated this Ordinance. 
B. Whenever any litter which is dumped, deposited, thrown, or left on public or private property in violation of this article 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 1. Severability. In the event any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is declared or adjudged invalid or unconstitutional, such adjudication shall in no manner affect any other section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase, which shall remain in full force and effect as if the section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase so declared or adjudged invalid or unconstitutional were not originally a part hereof.

Section 2. Repeal of Conflicting Ordinances. All ordinances, resolutions and parts of ordinances or resolutions in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed.

Section 3. Effective Date.  The provisions of this Ordinance shall be effective and in force upon the date of its adoption, the public welfare demanding it.

Approved by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners after a first reading on the ______ day of _______________________, 2016, and final action adopting and approving same on the _____day of ________________, 2016.

                                                                                            BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS