Hernando man refuses to pay for garbage collection

By Chip Washington - bio | email

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - A Mississippi man says he doesn't want the city to pick up his trash, and he won't pay for the service.

Robert Gribble's house is nestled in a clump of trees along highway 51 in Hernando.  You can usually find him on the porch watching his two dogs or reading a book. But recently, he has become the center of an issue concerning garbage collection.

Gribble says he didn't ask for garbage collection, and he won't pay for it

"I told them that I don't use the service," he said. "I said, 'Don't be sending me these bills.' I said, 'I'm not using the service.'"

In fact, Gribble has not paid a garbage bill since 1998.  According to city records, Gribble now owes more than $1300 dollars. Since 1992, Mississippi state law has mandated for public health that  the city must provide garbage service and citizens must use it.

Gribble disagrees.

"They have to do that but you don't have to use it," he said. "It don't say that. Now I read the law...it don't say you got to use it, period."

Hernando City Clerk Jannett Riley says the laws apply to everyone.

"If you let one person dispose of it on their property or take it somewhere else, where does it stop?" Riley asked.

But Gribble plans to maintain his stance to the bitter end.

"Yep, 'till they throw me over in that ditch when I die," he said.

Another resident who previously disputed the garbage bill recently told Hernando aldermen he would subscribe and pay for the service.  In return, the city tore up his longstanding bill.

Gribble will appear before the board next Tuesday, where he plans on refusing to pay.

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