City, county talk trash - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City, county talk trash

August 2, 2004

Dougherty County - People who live outside the city of Albany, in Dougherty County, may see some changes in trash pick-up. The city is taking over garbage collection in the county.

Hall-ing Refuse now picks up household trash at hundreds of homes outside the city limits. The news that the city is now taking over garbage collection in the county upset some customers. "We are perfectly happy with the service that we have. It's reasonable," said homeowner Melvin George.

Monday morning, Melvin George asked county commissioners not to enter into a solid waste agreement that mandates the city handle garbage collection county-wide with all the trash going to the county's landfill. The agreement comes after a major hauler started taking its trash outside the county, leaving the landfill to find more business fast or go broke.

George says he's worried that saving the landfill will mean bigger bills for customers. "I pay $35 every three months, that's about $11 a month. I don't know how the city can compete with that price."

City customers pay about $24 a month, but yard debris pick-up is included in that cost. "Our goal is to do no harm," said Albany Public Works Director Phil Roberson.

Roberson says the city wants to know which services county customers want and what they want to pay for them. "Our goal is to provide a better, service cheaper or leave service as is. The second goal is to discourage the practice of illegal dumping by controlling collection in the city and county," said Roberson.

Roberson says with or without the solid waste agreement, county residents would likely see costs go up because the landfill is no longer allowing free dumping for homeowners and might raise tipping fees for private haulers. Those haulers would likely send that cost to customers in time.

For now, just how much garbage rates will change for people in the city and county in still unknown. The county is also cracking down on private haulers that are taking trash outside the county. That's against state law and hurts the county landfill's bottom line.

Posted at 4:54PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com

 

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