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Augusta set to begin single-day collection services

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Augusta residents are less than a month from a shift in their household routines.

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A fleet of CNG-powered garbage trucks was parked at a new Inland Service facility Friday, awaiting duty.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
A fleet of CNG-powered garbage trucks was parked at a new Inland Service facility Friday, awaiting duty.

Starting on June 3, a Monday, garbage, recycling, yard and other waste collection will change to a single day each week, as the city begins a new contract with Advanced Dis­posal and Inland Service Corp.

As many as 8,000 more households will be forced to use the service as it becomes mandatory throughout consolidated Augusta-Richmond County, except in the city limits of Hephzibah and Blythe.

The largest obstacle is letting the public know about the single service day, Environ­mental Services Direc­tor Mark Johnson said.

In all likelihood, customers will have a different waste company, different staff aboard a new truck and a different collection day than either of the two they’ve had for the past five years, Johnson said.

The consequence of thousands of households forgetting to take the trash out would be an issue, so Environ­mental Services launched a large marketing campaign Saturday involving billboards, digital advertising and mailers. It’s also been holding monthly cleanup events to raise awareness.

“We’ve tried to sprinkle them throughout the community,” Johnson said.

Deputy Environmental Ser­vices Di­rector Lori Videtto pushed the new program at a town hall meeting Thursday in Harrisburg.

“Recycling will take a lot of the trash out of your trash can,” she said.

Videt­to said as much as 80 percent of trash that goes to the landfill can be recycled in containers the city provides, with glass still excluded.

Waverly homeowner Vic Ba­ker said he welcomed disposing of all his family’s garbage and recycling on a single day. However, the family already fills its recycling bins to the top, he said, and wouldn’t want to pay more for reduced service.

“It would be crazy for the rates to go up at all if they’re cutting back on their service and they’re saving on the vehicles,” Baker said.

The city also is eliminating free curbside tire disposal. Johnson said the program was often abused by businesses seeking a free way to dispose of multiple tires. It will be replaced with monthly tire collection events, he said.

Roving cleanup trucks will help out for a few weeks when a customer is missed or forgets to take out the trash, Johnson said.

Though the city is offering a smaller can at a reduced rate or an extra container for an additional charge, it will begin the program with every household using containers they already have.

“We’re going to get through the major shift before we start switching cans and can sizes,” Johnson said.

The program starts in June, and bills are generated in July, but Johnson said he’ll likely propose that the Augusta Commission not adjust rates until next year.

“We didn’t want a 30-day window for 30,000 households to switch service,” he said.

There’s one other significant change with the new service. A new compressed natural gas station at 3035 Tobac­co Road, where nearly all garbage trucks and any other CNG-powered vehicles can fill up, is nearly completed. The facility is only the second of its kind in Georgia.

A fleet of CNG-powered garbage trucks was parked at a new Inland Service facility Friday, awaiting duty.

David Vance of Inland said you can stand behind the trucks’ running exhaust and breathe.

“There’s almost zero emissions on these trucks,” he said. “It’s the cleanest burning engine you can purchase today.”

The trucks produce the same amount of fluorocarbons in two months that a diesel engine makes in an hour, he said.

Touted as a way to help Au­gus­ta’s air pollution status, the CNG decision brought months of commission debate. Demo­cratic state Sen. J.B. Powell called requiring waste haulers to be environmentally friendly “communism.”

The move cost several small haulers the work they had done since consolidation, though Advanced and In­land agreed to work with two of the subcontractors.

South Augusta landowner Marion Wiggins, for whom Augusta trash service will soon be required, isn’t happy with the change.

“The dictators downtown seem to think that everybody lives in a subdivision,” he said.

Wiggins characterizes his homestead as a rural mini-farm that produces significant garbage, more than would fill the new cart he’ll be required to pay for. For the past 30 years, he’s paid for a small dumpster to dispose of his trash and that of his elderly relatives. His area off Bennock Mill Road has hired its own trash service for years and would like to keep it that way, he said.

“This one-size-fits-all thing is ridiculous,” Wiggins said.

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nocnoc 05/04/13 - 05:39 pm
Since ARC and Fred Russell

Since ARC and Fred Russell seem to copy Gwinnett Co. so much including the Garbage taxes, reductions, "National" trash carriers and etc...

Expect to see the Garbage Nazis soon.
Fines for not recycling and producing too much per 1 pickup.

By the way when someone reduces the level of service by 1/2 and charges the same amount for the service that is a 100% increase in taxes.

if you paid $500 a year for 2 days a week then only get 1 day per week for $500, that means the extra day would cost you $500 a year or a 100% increase.

Did anyone vote to allow this form of TaxPayer Rape?
So remember it is an re-election year for 1/2 the commissioners.

"Touted as a way to help Au­gus­ta’s air pollution status"
Note: Most of ARC is in a Valley, Smog settles in a valley.
So force DOWNTOWN to run CNG only fuels.☺

The Dist. 8 Comish voted against this increase in case you want to know.

TheGeorgian 05/04/13 - 05:47 pm
Changes in trash collection

We received a flyer saying that the city will begin collecting trash from McNutt Road (for the 1st time ever) in June. They have always collected from Bennock Mill a block away and we on secondary roads have paid small local services for pickup. What will happen to these small businessmen and how much will the Augusta sevice cost? How much does Augusta want to increase the rate to by next year? Are monopolies legal now?

We'd pay $250 a year but $500? That's pure-D nuts. Perhaps this area should unincorporate itself 'cause, sure as God made little green turtles, I have yet to see an advantage to being part of Augusta!

just an opinion
just an opinion 05/04/13 - 05:57 pm
It's going to be a dirty city

The overflow will be in the streets, especially in the poorer neighborhoods.

pgapeach2 05/04/13 - 06:07 pm

It would be cheaper to collect your own trash and take it to the landfill.

TheGeorgian 05/04/13 - 06:53 pm
Augusta has treated.....

Augusta has treated the area they call Industrial which includes McNutt Way and McNutt Roads as an orphan child and now expects us to say, "Golly, Misters Politician, we'uns is so grateful y'all (finally) thought of us and are concerned with collectin' our trash." Right!

onethickdiva 05/05/13 - 02:28 am
News to me

I didnt know my service was on the chopping block. Somehow missed all those digital billboards, community events and mailers. I guess I'll have to call to find out my new day?

DoggieMom 05/05/13 - 04:46 am
Reduced Trash P/U

Choosing June 3 as the day to end twice a week p/u is insane!!
In the heat of Augusta, the stench will be unbearable, and just imagine if you put raw meat into that can, & you get missed one week.

In two weeks, the maggots, vermin, & wild animals will be knocking over your trash can, and the rot will be strewn all over the neighborhood, attracting more vermin, maggots, & ra
Maybe the commissioners should be on daily trash duty throughout the summer heat!
You can bet that by Master's 2014, twice a week p/u will be restored!!!
Honestly, all residents should demand a 50% reduction in trash p/u costs, effective June 3rd!!!

Adam Bomb
Adam Bomb 05/05/13 - 06:34 am
The present system works!

So why change it? The commission seems to forget that people need jobs. Even trash truck drivers and collectors. This seemingly unnecessary change is going to put more people on the welfare roles or worse, turn them to crime just to survive. Guess the new commission needs to make a name for itself.

nocnoc 05/05/13 - 07:28 am
The Rats and vermin will be happy.

6.9 Days of GA 100+ Summer heat cooking tossed chicken guts.
They'll love it?

Did Fred Russell add a tax to cover hiring a Rat Patrol?
Did he get PETA approval for catch and release on the South Side?
Did those voting for this tax increase on Commission get a Rat Waiver for themselves so they will not be caught and released?

To recap how this has and will unfold.

Phase 1
Big Haulers pitched an idea to Gwinnett Co.
Gwinnett Co. (1/2 in jail now) were paid into it
Commission adds Fees to Property Taxes.

But Fred Russell copies the idea with some adjustments.

Phase 2
Hauler agree and submit a divided areas plan to the commission so only MAJOR trash haulers are used. Reduces days of collection.

Phase 3
Legal lawsuits filed by local private haulers who lost their businesses due to dirty politics.

Phase 4
Court Ordered injunctions stop implementation
Local haulers tied up in court and with lack of funds settle.

Phase 5
County pays local trash haulers a low ball settlement

Phase 6
Rates go up, service is a joke.
Must be a certain type street dumpster.
Co. has shortage of Street dumpsters and citizen trash is not collected because it isn't in the correct type of dumpster.

Phase 7
Code enforcement hires addition people.
Code fines for trash all of a sudden start rolling in. ☻

Phase 8
"The Recycling Nazi's" hired next and the fines for improper trash and/or too much for 1 dumpster start?

Phase 9
Massive protest downtown in front of the court house.
Citizens bring their trash bins and park the cans 6.5 days a week. Dropping off their stinking garbage there, for the courts and Commissioners to smell and see.

Some ride around town with the trash cans full 6 days a week strapped to the bed of the PICKUP and start parking down town and at businesses and government offices.

We have enough Pickups in RC-A can we just skip to
Phase 9 now?

Fishboy 05/05/13 - 07:50 am
Am I the only one?

Wow! I think cutting back to once a week was the right thing to do. I sometimes go a couple of weeks without putting my trash at the street, and even then, the bin is only half full. If you take the time to recycle, you'd be surprised how little trash you actually have. If you haven't been, I suggest a trip to the landfill. It certainly changed my perspective on how much I waste. Our bins are something like 80 gallons; what normal household generates enough waste to overfill that in one week?

grinder48 05/05/13 - 07:58 am

Are our tax bills being lowered in proportion to the decreased service?

TrulyWorried 05/05/13 - 05:40 pm
Garbage Service

in the distant part of Richmond County - the reliable and dedicated people that have been picking up our refuse for the past 30 some years are just being put out to pasture? And I have to pay Richmond County for their service? Why in the dickens don't you guys leave well enough alone and rule in the City of Augusta and closely surrounding territory and leave us folks that have lived in the county (I say county and should write country side)for longer than some of you are alive, alone! We've done fine all this time and could do so in the future if it were not for those arrogant politicians that know it all.

gargoyle 05/05/13 - 05:50 pm
The problem with goverment

The problem with goverment mandates .... One size fits none, Give the goverment a problem and you can bet your last dollar they will solve it making those that govern and cronies rich, and the task they took on unresolved.... We need to take all the Richmond County elected out with yesterdays garbage, starting with the next election

TheGeorgian 05/06/13 - 01:31 pm
There is much to be said.....

There is much to be said of divesting oneself of dead-wood politicians. To paraphrase one literary sage: Those who can; do. Those who can't, become politicians.

So the new trucks are pollution free and eliminate the need of having three men per truck. Terrific. That's what we fire more people. And South Richmond, long foresaken by city government, is supposed to be thrilled and grateful at being ordered to fire our tiny private haulers who took care of our needs when Augusta would not do so

sa2009Doxie 05/15/13 - 02:18 pm
New Unservice

Well - so far no resolution in sight - sent emails to Commissioner and Mayor. Contact form on Augusta Solid Waste site doesn't work just like the so called call back from 311.
Mayor Copenhaver:

Please see the attached copy sent to our local commissioner. The new mandatory service we are being subjected to is totally unacceptable.

Commissioner Guilfoyle:

I live at 173 Blackberry Lane, Augusta, GA 30906 in your district.
residents on our road have received trash containers delivered to each of our driveways with a mailer that stated if we lived more than 300 feet from a right of way we would have to call to discuss options. When we call to request information we are advised we have to take containers to Mike Padgett Hwy several hundred feet away. Also we are told that someone will call us back and they do not.

Even though our road is considered a private road we pay county taxes on our tax bills to have the road maintained, which they do not. The road has a 20 feet right of way on either side that we are told does not count towards the trash collection right of way and that we must take our containers to the main highway Mike Padgett Hwy. This is unacceptable.

If we are to only have trash collection from the main highway of Mike Padgett;
1. Containers should have been left there not at our individual houses. This is a contradiction in stating the trucks are not allowed on our road but proving that the trucks can come down our road by delivering the containers to begin with.
2. There should be a main dumpster at the main highway of Mike Padgett for us to take our trash, not individual containers. This is how Burke and other counties handle rural areas and Augusta-Richmond County should, as well.
3. We are already paying taxes on services we do not receive for road maintenance and do not intend to pay for another service we will not receive
Please contact me to discuss this matter and hopefully reach some sort of acceptable solution for; Blackberry Lane, Corinth Rd., McNutt Rd. and all other roads affected by this new un-service.

dickworth1 06/12/13 - 06:28 pm
Double rate on garbage

To the private garbage collectors, I support your plight and would be willing to join a class action suit against Augusta and fred russell for overtaxing the property owners. Virtually, the commission is getting away with this and the citizens must protest this. All landlords in augusta need to raise rent fees on tenants about $25.00 a month so when they vote they need to know that it can hit you where it hurts by just voting for someone because tat is what you have been told to do. Renters need to pay for their garbage just like homeowners. I am talking to real estate rental companies about this matter and most agree.

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