South Fulton landfill still toxic, state and local leaders say

There is a smelly, smoldering situation south of Atlanta.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:25 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - There is a smelly, smoldering situation south of Atlanta. State and city leaders say the man who owns an illegal landfill on Bishop Road in South Fulton is dragging his feet when it comes to cleaning up the site.

Michael Schaepe lives next to this landfill and said he and his neighbors have been breathing toxic air coming from the site for years.

“The EPD has issued numerous citations, they’re just ignored,” Schaepe said. “The EPA monitored the air and found it was hazardous to our health.”

Last year, a Fulton County Superior Court judge ordered owner Tandy Bullock to clean up the property and give progress reports along the way. The state says he failed to do so.

“He’s shown no capabilities of being able to clean this site up and no intention of cleaning it up. And so, it has to be removed from his hands if we’re going to do right by this community,” South Fulton Councilmember Jaceey Sebastian said.

The state Attorney General’s office told Atlanta News First that the EPD has produced undisputed evidence that the owner of the property has failed to remove the required amount of waste from the property and that he has not paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties.

“We’re asking any level of government what is it going to take? There are three schools around the corner with kids breathing this stuff every single day,” Sebastian said.

A representative for the Environmental Protection Division informed said that Bullock owes $125,000 in penalties to Superior Court. Plus, several neighbors claim they are owed money from a lawsuit they filed.

“We got attorneys, we took him to court, and the jury ruled in our favor. He owes this community, the people that live here have been breathing this toxic air, over $800,000 and we haven’t seen a penny of it and yet he continues to operate,” Schaepe said.

Bullock’s legal team told Atlanta News First they did not want to discuss the matter on camera. They also said the property is not a landfill. They said it’s a recycling facility and therefore they do not need a permit.

So, what happens next? Atlanta News First contacted Fulton County Superior Court and we were told the judge is still reviewing the case and has not taken any further action.