Help save the burn pit

You should know that secretly I love it when Peabody City Council solicits my help to keep my six regular readers and their friends and neighbors in line.

Not, of course, that my six regular readers would need a nudge in the direction of decent and responsible behavior. They already know the rules because they read up on good community conduct in this column, but apparently some of them have friends or family who are bit shady and bend the rules. Tsk, tsk!

Because our city is small, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment allows us to have a burn pit where we can take leaves, limbs, lawn and garden and other organic debris. We can load up pickups and trailers and clean our yards of all that stuff nature deposits. We do not have to haul it to landfill or put it out for Waste Connections to carry to a landfill. We can deposit it in the burn pit at the south end of Olive Street and walk away from it. City employees will take care of pushing it up and burning it as often as needed.

However, as with any special privilege, there are always those who think it is their right to abuse the system. Public works superintendent Ronnie Harms has reported at several recent city council meetings that Peabody residents are violating the rules of the burn pit’s operation by dropping off miscellaneous lumber and building salvage to escape a trip to the transfer station in Marion, the proper place to dispose of such items.

Monday night, Harms noted again that there has been an increase in lumber and construction/demolition debris being left in the burn pit. He reported to city council members that Peabody’s burn pit squeaked by in the last state inspection, but since then the amount of illegal dumping has moved steadily upward.

Here is a suggestion. If you are a legal dumper and appreciate having a local burn pit available, take note of any illegal dumpers you might see at the facility. Contact the city public works department, the city office, or Peabody police department. Get a name or a license number if you can and let us identify the folks who will keep up the illegal activity until the privilege of having a burn pit is rescinded by the state.

I am pretty sure my six regular readers are willing to help. How about the rest of you? We could all use your vigilance.

—susan marshall

Last modified Nov. 30, 2016

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