Citing illegal dumping, Athens-Clarke closing second recycling site

The Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department is closing a second recycling drop-off station.


The department last month shut down its Newton Bridge Road site, and now has announced that Wednesday will be the last day for a site near Athens Technical College on U.S. Highway 29.

The reason for the Athens Tech closure is “chronic illegal dumping,” according to a notice on the Athens-Clarke County website.

The drop-off stations are meant to give people a place to take such common recyclable materials as plastic, metal and paper. But people frequently use some of the sites to dump trash like used tires, couches and other furniture, old wide-screen TVs, household garbage, Styrofoam peanuts and even construction waste, among many other items that can’t be recycled or need to be taken to another place for recycling.

Both of the unsupervised recycling sites were open 24 hours a day.

Athens-Clarke still has eight other locations where people can bring recycling where watchful eyes may be more likely to spot illegal dumping. Five are accessible 24 hours a day.

County officials are open to finding a replacement site near the closed Newton Bridge Road area, said Athens-Clarke County Public Information Officer Jeff Montgomery.

Two of the 24-hour drop-off sites are at Athens-Clarke fire stations, on Danielsville and Jefferson roads. Another is in Winterville and a fourth at Georgia Square mall, near the Athens-Clarke County Police Department’s westside station. The fifth 24-hour site is off Lexington Road behind the Clarke County tag office near the county jail and Athens-Clarke police headquarters.

Three other recycling drop-off points are open limited hours, including the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials at 1005 College Ave. That facility has containers for the ordinary plastic, paper and metal recyclables, but also accepts materials such as electronics, batteries and Styrofoam. There is a fee for some loads, depending on the type of material and quantity.

The Athens-Clarke County Recycling Facility at 699 Hancock Industrial Way and the Athens-Clarke County Landfill also have facilities to accept recyclables and are open during weekday business hours.

The landfill, at 5700 Lexington Road, is also open Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. County residents can also bring their household waste to the landfill.