County discusses solid waste

Published 9:48 am Thursday, August 15, 2013

Solid waste was a big topic of discussion at Monday’s county commission meeting.

Discussion began when Solid Waste Officer Robert White informed the commission it was time to renew the permit for the landfill.

White, who is charged with getting dump sites cleaned up and making sure people are in compliance with the county’s solid waste policy, is also “very knowledgeable in ADEM rules.”

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County Engineer Benjie Sanders has been working to tighten up the verbiage in solid waste contract, which expires at year-end.

Sanders said he has taken the current contract and has looked at what other counties and cities are doing.

Commissioner Charlie Sankey said he has discussed some of the issues the county is having with garbage pick-up, and told the commission there is a solid waste authority that the county could choose to go with. However, the authority contracts with Advanced Disposal, the current company responsible for the county’s garbage pick-up.

One of the concerns commissioners had was the fact that residents are paying for services that they do not always receive.

“I think we need to address retroactive pay. How is Advanced going to handle monthly bill if customers are not serviced,” Sanders said. “Or not picked up until the next week.”

Sankey said he has spoken to another solid waste company, but did not name the company.

“We need to decide if we are going to bid or contract with the authority,’ he said.

Sankey said one thing that concerns him is that if prices increase significantly through a bid process, residents will not appreciate paying more.

“Our citizens will not appreciate an increase after months and months of substandard service,” he said. “If we have a new company, then there will be three or four months of transitional time to learn our dirt road system.”

Commissioner Merrill Sport said that while bidding may pose more risks, the county would have more options.

“Sometimes people want to pay more for quality service,” Commissioner Michelle Stephens said.

Sanders said he felt the missed garbage pick-up verbiage in the contract was not tough.

He suggested changing the contract to charge the company $25 per household per working day if garbage is not picked up within three working days.

Another suggestion Sanders had was to include a clause that when residents do not pay their garbage bill, the company cannot simply pick-up the can, but only after the solid waste office has had 60 days to get the customers up to par since Crenshaw County is a mandatory county.

Sankey said the commission should work to get this situation resolved by budget time.

Sankey also said he would like to see Crenshaw County have its own customer service representative to handle issues.