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8:03 AM Mon, Dec. 17th

Promised trash cop still not hired by county

Even though Mohave County has raised more than $400,000 in tipping fees at county landfills during the past two years, the litter cop who was to help combat the trash problem still has not been hired.

In April 2000 the Mohave County supervisors approved a $2 surcharge at county landfills.

Effective Jan.

1, 2001, the funds derived from this fee were remitted to Mohave County by the landfill contractors in accordance with the stipulations in the 1996 renewal of contract agreement.

At that time county officials said the surcharge would pay for the collection of household hazardous waste materials and the hiring a trash enforcement officer who would crack down on wildcat dumping.

All customers, including the city of Kingman sanitation department, were charged the additional fee for each ton of solid waste accepted at Cerbat and Mohave Valley landfills.

In April 2001 the additional charge was indirectly passed to Kingman residents after the Kingman City Council voted to increase fees from $11 to $11.85 monthly for the twice-weekly pick up of residential trash.

Residents of Lake Havasu City do not contribute to the tipping fee fund because the city does not use either county landfill.

While the county has held annual hazardous waste pickups in Bullhead City and Kingman the past two years, Mohave County Public Works director Mike Hendrix said the county has not hired a trash enforcement officer.

"The paperwork has been sent to the personnel department," Hendrix said.

"They are finalizing the wording for the job description.

We want to make sure of the appropriate classification for that person."

It has not been determined in which county department the trash enforcement officer would work, nor have the county supervisors approved the new position, Hendrix said.

Public officials have said illegal dumping is one of Mohave County's biggest problems.

District I Supervisor Pete Byers has said the situation " is mind-boggling."

Byers recently held a cleanup effort in Meadview with his district's portion of tipping fee funds.

It is still too soon to tell whether a new ordinance, passed in December, will help the situation, said Mohave County Chief Deputy Attorney Jace Zack.

Under the ordinance a person linked to an illegal trash pile would have to clean it up within five days, or that person would face a maximum penalty of $2,000 in fines and six months in jail.