Transfer Station Costs Prompt Winamac Good Samaritan Store to Crack Down on Trash Dumping

The Pulaski County Transfer Station’s recent rate increase is making things difficult for a Winamac nonprofit organization. The Good Samaritan Store has apparently racked up quite a large disposal bill, according to information provided during Monday’s county commissioners meeting.

Store officials explained that they were getting rid of trash that people have dumped at the store’s donation drop box. “They don’t go to the transfer station, so we get it,” a volunteer explained. “It lays out in the yard, and it’s pure junk. We even get garbage bags full of garbage, dirty diapers. I mean, you just name it, that’s what we get.”

They pointed out that money that the organization would use to help people in need is increasingly going to dispose of other people’s garbage. Store officials stressed that they were willing to pay what they could, but asked if the county could give them a little break.

Transfer Station Manager Brad Bonnell didn’t like that idea. “That’s taxpayers’ money,” he said. “We don’t offer a discount to anyone else.”

He pointed out that there are several expenses that have to be covered. “It’s not just the $6,000 that you didn’t pay. We didn’t collect that. We’ve still got to pay that. And then the fuel and the time and the truck and the maintenance. That doubles that or maybe even a little bit more.”

While the commissioners praised the Good Samaritan Store for helping the local community, they pointed out that the county is facing a budget crunch. In the end, they recommended that it look into installing a fence to cut down on the amount of trash dumping.

Store officials said they’ve already begun looking into that. They’ve also eliminated the 24-hour drop box and are only accepting donations when someone’s there to monitor them. Security cameras have been installed, as well.

During Monday’s meeting, store officials presented Bonnell with a check for $243.