A free yard debris disposal service is in jeopardy after an excessive amount of lawn care businesses started using the service.
For the past two years, Saline County residents have had the opportunity to take leaves, grass clippings, or any kind of yard debris to the Republic Landfill in Bauxite and drop them off - for free.
"We saw a dramatic increase in cost," said Illegal Dumps Control Officer Shane Knight.
Knight said for about the past six months, law care businesses have started dropping off large amounts of yard debris. When the yard debris program started, it cost the solid waste district about $2,000 to operate a month; recently it's upward of $15,000 a month.
Michael Grappe, the Executive Director for the Saline County Regional Solid Waste Management District, said they're funded by landfill royalties and grants. Most of their budget comes from the royalties.
"It's frustrating. It very much is. It's also frustrating to know there are businesses out here that are double dipping," said Knight.
Knight said while he was recently on patrol at the landfill, he stopped a lawn care business to ask if they were charging customers to dispose of their yard debris even though it's free to drop it off at the landfill. He mentioned one particular company was charging $50 - $100 to dispose of yard debris.
Grappe` said if the lawn care businesses don't stop abusing the yard debris program, they'll likely have to start charging residents.
For questions or additional information regarding the yard debris program, you can contact them at (501) 776-2533.