2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 8 - WASTE MANAGEMENT
ARTICLE 2 - SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
PART 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 12-8-21 - Declaration of policy; legislative intent
. Declaration of policy; legislative intent
(a) It is declared to be the policy of the State of Georgia, in furtherance of its responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and well-being of its citizens and to protect and enhance the quality of its environment, to institute and maintain a comprehensive state-wide program for solid waste management and to prevent and abate litter, so as to assure that solid waste does not adversely affect the health, safety, and well-being of the public and that solid waste facilities, whether publicly or privately owned, do not degrade the quality of the environment by reason of their location, design, method of operation, or other means and which, to the extent feasible and practical, makes maximum utilization of the resources contained in solid waste.
(b) It is further declared to be the policy of the State of Georgia to educate and encourage generators and handlers of solid waste to reduce and minimize to the greatest extent possible the amount of solid waste which requires collection, treatment, or disposal through source reduction, reuse, composting, recycling, and other methods and to promote markets for and engage in the purchase of goods made from recovered materials and goods which are recyclable.
(c) It is the intent of the General Assembly that every effort be undertaken to reduce on a state-wide per capita basis the amount of municipal solid waste being received at disposal facilities.
(d) It is further the intent of the General Assembly that the director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources shall be the official charged with primary responsibility for the solid waste management program. The director, in exercising any authority granted in this part, shall conform to and implement the policies outlined in this part and shall at all times coordinate his activities with those of other state agencies and local political jurisdictions so as to achieve a unified and effective solid waste management program in the state.
(e) It is further intended by the General Assembly that the director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources shall, in exercising any authority granted in this part, recognize that the states which share common borders with Georgia also share the vital natural resources of clean air, clean surface waters, and clean ground waters which flow across those common borders and that, therefore, those bordering states have a mutual interest with Georgia to manage solid waste in a manner that does not threaten to contaminate the shared natural resources. The director shall also recognize, however, that such mutual interest may not exist between Georgia and states which do not share common borders and natural resources with it. Therefore, the director is instructed to be particularly mindful of the need to monitor, inspect, and regulate closely that solid waste generated from sources located in states not sharing common borders and natural resources with Georgia.
(f) It is further the intent of the General Assembly that every effort be undertaken to ensure the proper management of scrap tires from the point of generation to the ultimate point of reuse, recycling, or disposal and that every effort be made to ensure that, where possible, they be reused or recycled rather than being disposed.
(g) It is further the intent of the General Assembly to provide a frame of reference for the state and all counties, municipal corporations, and solid waste management authorities in the state relating to the handling of yard trimmings. The productivity of the soils of Georgia requires that nature's way of recycling vegetative matter be respected and followed and that such essential building materials are no longer wasted by being buried in landfills but are returned to the soil. The General Assembly, therefore, adopts and recommends the following hierarchy for handling yard trimmings:
(1) Naturalized, low-maintenance landscaping requiring little or no cutting;
(2) Grass cycling by mowing it high and letting it lie;
(3) Stacking branches into brush piles for use as wildlife habitats and for gradual decomposition into the soil;
(4) Composting on the site where the material was grown, followed by incorporation of the finished compost into the soil at that site;
(5) Chipping woody material on the site where such material was generated;
(6) Collecting yard trimmings and transporting them to another site to be chipped or composted for later use; and
(7) Chipping woody material for later use as fiber fuel.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer