HEFLIN — By the time county officials cut the ribbon at 8 a.m. for the new Cleburne County Convenience Center, non-household trash was already accumulating in large bins Thursday morning.
An assortment of plywood, hunks of metal, beat-up cardboard boxes and construction debris inaugurated the facility, which replaces the bi-annual county cleanup days.
In the past, county officials would place roll-off trash bins in every district twice a year for county residents, but there was no way to verify who was actually using them, according to County Commissioner Emmett Owen.
“I think one of the biggest things we take away from this is that the people of Cleburne County has been paying all these years for Georgia, Randolph County, Clay County and everybody else to come in and dump their tires,” Owen said after the ribbon cutting.
“Now we’ve got a central location that serves the people of Cleburne County and honestly Cleburne County people pay for this service,” said Owen.
For Cleburne County residents who verify their identity there is no charge to dump their trash at the facility; Heflin residents who wish to discard items there must pay a fee because the city uses a different trash contractor.
The convenience center is located at 22 Lambert Drive in Heflin but more locations are planned, according to Commissioner Laura Cobb, who was glad the facility was open.
“It's been a challenge for us. It’s something that we have been trying to get in the making where it’s convenient for the people of Cleburne County. That’s what I’ve said from day one, the convenience for the people. I hope in the future we see these out through the different districts,” Cobb said.
A chain-link fence surrounds the facility. A small building accommodates an employee who will request a photo ID and Advanced Disposal account number from county residents.
On the far end of a gravel parking lot six large dumpsters are situated lower than the lot itself to allow easy access for trash disposal.
The convenience center will open the first full week and the third week of each month, but only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.