ATLANTA -- An 11Alive investigation showed trash pits created by contractors are causing sinkholes more than a decade later. Now, new legislation could hold those responsible accountable.
Currently, there is a loophole in Georgia law allowing builders to slip through without any responsibility. That's because it usually takes more than a decade for the sink holes to show up - years after the state statute of limitations runs out.
"There are 210 homes in the neighborhood and very quickly I can count of 20-25 homes that have an issue," John Clark said.
He's the president of the Spicers Grove Homeowners Association in Woodstock. It's one of many neighborhoods where trash sinkholes are popping up years after home builders buried construction waste.
"This property owner has lost the use of all this land behind because of this sinkhole," Clark said, pointing out one sinkhole example.
Two doors down, the ground around a swing set has sunk 4 feet.
Another nearby neighborhood had to pay to have six trucks worth of construction material dug up and hauled away.
"And when your homeowner's insurance won't touch it, who just has an extra $60,000 laying around to lift your house?" Clark asked.
"My house sunk 9 feet on one side so they had to lift it back up with piers," she said. "They had to go 19 feet to reach solid ground and not trash."
She spoke to Georgia representative Michael Caldwell.
"Our legislators can't fix what they don't know is broken," he said.
Caldwell is the first legislator on record to step up to the plate and agree to work on making changes.
"I think it's ludicrous," he told 11Alive's Latasha Givens.
He said he's in the first round of creating legislation for next session. Right now, that means examining case law as well as looking at action other states have taken.
He said working to extend the state statute past eight years is a start.
"I want to make sure we fix the law so that so that it's protecting these constituents and consumers," he said. "Plainly. I want to make sure that the next house I buy doesn't have garbage buried in the backyard and if it does, that I have the ability to hold someone accountable for that."