(a) Generally. (1) The county commission or municipal governing body may, and is hereby authorized to, make available to the general public collection and disposal facilities for solid wastes in a manner acceptable to the department. The county commission or municipal governing body may provide such collection or disposal services by contract with private or other controlling agencies and may include house-to-house service or the placement of regularly serviced and controlled bulk refuse receptacles within reasonable (generally less than eight miles) distance from the farthest affected household and the wastes managed in a manner acceptable to the department.
(2) Any county commission or municipal governing body providing services to the public under this article shall have the power and authority by resolution or ordinance to adopt rules and regulations providing for mandatory public participation in and subscription to such system of services. Such governing body may, in its discretion, submit the question of requiring such mandatory public participation to a vote of the qualified electors of the county or municipality as the case may be. If such governing body submits the question to the voters, then the governing body shall also provide for holding and canvassing the returns of the election and for the giving notice thereof for two consecutive weeks in a paper of general circulation in the county. Every person, household, business, industry, or property generating solid wastes, garbage, or ash as defined in this section shall participate in and subscribe to such system of service unless granted a certificate of exception as provided in subsection (g). Provided, however, any individual, household, business, industry, or property generating solid wastes that were sharing service for a period of at least 6 months may continue to share service without filing for a certificate of exception. In the event such person, household, business, industry, or property owner who has not been granted a certificate of exception refuses to participate in and subscribe to such system of service, the county commission or municipal governing body may in addition to any other remedy provided in this article bring an appropriate civil action in circuit court to compel such participation and subscription. Except as provided in subsection (g), any person, firm, or corporation violating such rules and regulations shall be in violation of this article and shall be punished as provided in Section 22-27-7 .
(3) Any household whose sole source of income is Social Security benefits shall be granted an exemption from the payment of any fees required under this article, provided the household seeking to claim the exemption shall present proof of income to the county health officer no later than the first billing date of any year in which the exemption is desired. The county health officer or his designee shall forward the exemption request and proof of income to the solid waste officer or municipal governing body upon receipt. The exemption shall apply only so long as the household's sole source of income is Social Security and shall be requested each year in which the exemption is desired. Additionally, the Legislature may, by local law, authorize the county commission to grant additional exemptions to households whose total income does not exceed 75 percent of the federal poverty level. Any person who knowingly provides false or misleading information in order to obtain an exemption shall be subject to the provisions of Section 22-27-7 .
(4) No county commission shall provide solid waste collection and disposal services within the corporate limits of a municipality without the express consent of the municipal governing body of such municipality nor shall any municipality provide solid waste collection and disposal services outside its corporate limits without the express consent of the county commission of the county in which it is situated.
(5) Any county providing door-to-door solid waste collection shall not reduce such service unless and until a letter has been sent to each resident or property or business owner receiving door to door service stating that such service will be reduced or changed and allowing at least 60 days for any resident, business owner, or property owner to call for a public hearing and for the county or municipality to hold such public hearing upon request.
(6) Any provision of this article to the contrary notwithstanding, no person, household, business, industry, or property owner shall be required to pay any solid waste collection exemption or disposal fee chargeable under this article unless solid waste collection and disposal services for which such charge was made were actually made available to such person, household, business, industry, or property owner.
(b) Solid waste officer. As used in this article, solid waste officer shall mean any county official or county employee or any official or employee of a solid waste disposal authority authorized under Section 11-89A-1 et seq. designated by the county commission to exercise the authority and perform the duties delegated by this article to such official and such officer shall have the same powers of enforcement against persons violating this article as do license inspectors with regard to persons violating revenue laws as provided under Section 40-12-10 (i) , (j) , (k) , and (n) .
(c) As used in this article, the terms “solid wastes”, “garbage”, and “ash” do not include any drilling discharges from oil or natural gas operations.
(d) Garbage disposal. Garbage and rubbish containing garbage shall be disposed of by sanitary landfill, approved incineration, composting, or by other means now available or which may later become available as approved by the department. The method chosen and used shall also meet the requirements of the health department for sanitation and the protection of public health.
(e) Burning. No garbage or rubbish containing garbage or other putrescible materials or hazardous wastes shall be burned except in approved incinerators meeting the necessary temperature requirements and air pollution controls as now established or as may later be established. The open burning of rubbish shall be permitted only under sharply controlled circumstances where sanitary landfill or landfill is not feasible and not in proximity to sanitary landfill or landfill operations where spread of fire to these operations may be a hazard in the opinion of the department.
(f) Haulage. Trucks or other vehicles engaged in the business of hauling garbage and rubbish shall be so covered, secured, or sealed that there will be no loss during haulage to cause littering of streets and highways, or cause a nuisance or hazard to the public health.
(g) Exception. (1) A person, household, business, industry, or any property owner may store, haul, and dispose of his or her own solid wastes on his or her land or otherwise, provided such storage, haulage, or disposal is accomplished pursuant to a certificate of exception as provided in this subsection. In order to obtain a certificate of exception, an application, an application fee, and plan must be filed with the county health officer or his or her designee in the case of household solid waste or with the department in the case of solid waste from business or industry, setting out the proposed method of storing, hauling, and disposing of solid waste so as to comply with rules and regulations adopted by the state or county boards of health or the department as appropriate and not create a public nuisance or hazard to the public health. The certification of exception application fee shall be established by the State Board of Health or the department, as the case may be, except that with regard to an individual household such fee shall be ten dollars ($10). The proceeds from such application fees are hereby appropriated to the State Board of Health or the department, as the case may be, to be used for the administration of this article. The county health officer or his or her designee or the department as appropriate shall investigate such application and plan and issue a certificate of exception within the time set by the State Board of Health or the department, as the case may be (not to exceed sixty days in the case of an individual household), if such proposal will, in such officer's or designee's or the department's judgment, comply with such rules and regulations and adequately prevent a public nuisance or hazard to public health. A certificate of exception granted under authority of this section shall be valid for the period established by the department, except that in the case of an individual household such period shall not exceed one year. The county health officer or his or her designee or the department shall notify the county commission or municipal governing body in writing of the intention to grant a certificate of exception and no such certificate of exception shall be granted for an individual household without prior written approval of the county commission or municipal governing body as the case may be.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, no exception, exception fee, or any other review, approval, or payment shall be required of any generator for the collection, handling, or disposal of its own solid waste using facilities or equipment owned by the generator, its corporate parent, affiliate, or subsidiary and duly permitted for such use by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management or its successor in function.
(h) Coal combustion by-products. Upon the adoption and implementation of a federal regulatory program to govern the disposal of coal combustion by-products pursuant in whole or in part to Subtitle D of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6941 et seq., the department is authorized to develop and adopt rules as necessary to implement a state regulatory program consistent with the federal requirements. Until such federal program requirements take effect, the disposal of coal combustion by-products shall be subject to the applicable requirements of this article; provided, however, that a facility permitted by the department pursuant to Chapter 22 of this title as of May 25, 2011, and thereafter may continue to operate without additional authorization by the department until federal requirements under the Solid Waste Disposal Act take effect. To the extent permissible under the federal program, the department shall allow beneficial uses of coal combustion by-products as an alternative to disposal as part of any adopted state program.
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