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Columbia County government is struggling with an environmental challenge that will persist in the future, not only here but across the state and country.

During this month’s meeting of the Columbia County Quorum Court, a local resident told justices of the peace of an illegal dump site near his home. Sadly, there will always be people who choose to drive down a county road and dump unwanted items that could otherwise be disposed of properly.

But the items the resident referred to present a unique situation because they are not so easy to dispose of properly. In this case, it’s old televisions.

“Right now, they’re using County Road 246 and County Road 30 for dumping sites of TVs,” the man said. “The landfill doesn’t take them, so they’re going just down the road and throwing the TVs in the ditch.”

There is now a fee at the local recycling center for electronics items which used to be accepted for no charge. Residents must pay a $10 for each electronic item, and, as reported last week in the Banner-News, the Columbia County Landfill along Columbia Road 30, near the new illegal dump site, does not receive electronics for disposal at all.

What to do with old computers, televisions and electronic items yet to be invented will be a continuing problem for generations. The problem is more than aesthetics because dumped electronics are more than eyesores, they’re damaging to the environment.

“That’s something that’s going to a problem from now on,” Columbia County Judge Larry Atkinson said. “I don’t know what to do about it. I’m open to suggestions.” Justice Marjie Blair agreed, saying, “I think we need a plan. I don’t know what it is yet, but we need something.”

Yes, it is a problem the county must deal with and, like the electronic junk that is an eternal threat to the environment, it is not going to go away.

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