Garbage dispute gets dirty - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Garbage dispute gets dirty

September 16, 2003

Albany - Your garbage bill may go up, if the city of Albany and Onyx Waste Services can't settle their problems. The city claims Onyx is combining yard waste and other garbage and dumping it into the county's landfill, which violates their contract. Onyx says it's not their fault the garbage is combined. The company wants the city to pay its added cost of disposing the mixed trash.

The city has a $1,800,000 contract with Onyx to pick-up both household and yard waste west of North Slappey and take it to the Maple Hill landfill. But, Public Works Director Phil Roberson says that's not what's happening. "I have seen Onyx collectors combine yard trimming and other municipal waste," said Roberson. "Then, they take mixed waste to the county's landfill not our inert site, therefore the city is losing more than $20,000 in dumping fees. That's against the contract we signed with Onyx."

Onyx argues customers, not collectors, combine the trash. "Once the trash is combined it's contaminated and cannot be dumped at Maple Hill," said Greg Walk with Onyx. "We have to pay more to dump it at the municipal site. So, we think the city should reimburse us for that cost and started cracking down on violators."

Now, Onyx is demanding the city tighten code enforcement. "We will do our part by not combining waste, but the city must also do its part by punishing customers who mix garbage," said Walk.

"If we have to reimburse them for dumping cost or if we have to fulfill a list of other requests from Onyx, we would like have to raise collection prices," said Roberson. And, your bill may increase if even the city decides not to renew Onyx contract and look for another garbage collection company.

Monday, Onyx stopped combining yard trimmings with other waste and dumping it into the county's landfill. City leaders have until September 30th to renew or end its contract with Onyx.

Posted at 4:05PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com