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Garbage service reductions, additions, changes start Monday

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Augusta households are days away from a significant shift in their household routines, and many residents remain displeased.

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One of the new garbage trucks picks up on East Boundary in Augusta.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
One of the new garbage trucks picks up on East Boundary in Augusta.

“I’ve been dealing with this garbage thing all week,” said Augusta Commission member Wayne Guilfoyle, whose District 8 for the first time is experiencing mandatory curbside garbage collection at 8,000 households.

Guilfoyle, whose district is mainly rural and includes many small farms, said residents resent being forced to pay for new city garbage pickup, although the city limits of tiny Hephzibah and Blythe were spared.

Longtime small haulers in the area will retain service contracts in the two towns, Guilfoyle said.

“That’ll probably make the residents feel good,” he said.

Elsewhere, much of the county seems peeved about a reduction in service from two days a week to one and a change in service days. Residents have called the city’s new expanded 311 customer service line with questions about service days.

Gearing up for a busy period that begins Monday, Augusta Environmental Services Director Mark Johnson lamented: “Change is hard.”

“We’re changing a lot,” Johnson said. “For the most part, we’re changing everybody’s service day. And we’ve changed our method of collection, which is a significant change. When you put all of those changes together, there’s a lot of people that are adapting with us and working hard.”

Friday marked the end of 13 years of twice-weekly pickup in most of Augusta. Service – including garbage, yard waste, bulk waste and recycling – will be one day a week.

The garbage trucks themselves will change, too. Under Augusta’s new solid-waste contract, all are required to operate on compressed natural gas, and the city recently opened a CNG fueling station where they must gas up.

Besides the service day change, the city will ease into other service changes, with a focus first on those with heavier service needs, such as large households requiring a second cart or lacking a recycling container. After that, customers seeking to change to a smaller, cheaper cart will be addressed.

“We’re dealing with the ones who need extra carts first,” he said.

In conjunction with the plan’s efforts to increase recycling, the city is offering a service called “Recycling Perks,” which registers points for a customer every time a recycling bin is emptied. The points, accessible online, add up to discounts, promotions and other benefits at local businesses, he said.

Several commissioners said they hope the waste contract can be tweaked further. Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson said he’s optimistic that several small waste haulers left out of the city’s collection contract get another shot at the subcontract work.

At least one of the small haulers might have a shot at a new downtown receptacle collection contract the city split off from the large waste contract, Johnson said.

Guilfoyle has further tweaks he’d like to see address the needs of his rural area. He wants to shorten the maximum setback for mandatory collection from 300 feet to 200 feet from the road and cut a rule that exempt residents show proof of alternate service.

He wants an exemption for farms of 10 acres or more with proven agricultural uses that are required to use curbside residential pickup, even for farm waste.

“That’s the reason that one size doesn’t fit all,” he said.

Comments (21) Add comment
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crc
156
Points
crc 05/31/13 - 10:53 pm
8
0
Trash Collection

I've never accumulated enough trash to warrant it being picked up more than once a week. However, a reduction in rate at some level is reasonable.

bumblebeerose
669
Points
bumblebeerose 06/01/13 - 04:15 am
5
0
Reduction in rate

Reduction in rate would be nice since they are cutting it down to one day a week. It would also be nice if everyone that was on the service paid the same thing. Downtown pays less than those of us that live on the south side.

The one thing I need is a larger recycle bin. I have more recycle than regular trash.

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 06/01/13 - 05:48 am
8
0
Garbage rate increase
Unpublished

The citizens of Richmond county, especially those that vote, your garbage has increased 100% in price starting next week. The commissioners do not care what you think and my commissioner was unable to answer questions about the rates because he was not on the board at the time of the voted change. These changes should not be accepted and just ignored, these changes amount to money out of your pocket. For those that do not own property, you still pay for garbage pickup by landlords raising your rent. When you vote for commissioners you need to vote for those running that are truly your voice and not their own with aspirations of being mayor or whatever.
This is a spend, spend, spend commission and most of the voters are not even aware of it. Get involved and vote with your mind and not your race.

tanbaby
1293
Points
tanbaby 06/01/13 - 06:30 am
0
0
i live outside of the 300
Unpublished

i live outside of the 300 feet of right of way clause so i will get to opt out.and even though my garbage service costs about the same thing as the "tax", it is MY choice to pay that amount. i live a few miles from the landfill and could just carry it every week, probably don't have anymore than 2-3 bags of trash... i agree with mr. guilfoyle about shortening the distance though...even 200 feet is a long way to pull or drag (or however you manage to get it there) your garbage to the road....and the "proof of alternate service" letter is okay, but they haven't cared if people were getting their trash picked up to this point, so why care now??? It's a good thing that my garbage service was the only issue that the Richmond County Commissioners had to deal with, huh????

seenitB4
81254
Points
seenitB4 06/01/13 - 07:39 am
5
1
Change is never easy

The once a week service is working here (Gwinnett).....but they installed it with us kicking & screaming too....too many folks dropping their junk here--there & everywhere....part of the bigger problem....funny how newcomers to the county can turn your world upside down but they can..in the school system too.

LBunnies32
102
Points
LBunnies32 06/01/13 - 07:45 am
7
0
Recycling bin

I requested a recycling bin twice now and still do not have one. I can do once a week pick up as long as I have a recycling bin to use as well. The city needs to get it together!

jtr0777
21
Points
jtr0777 06/01/13 - 08:15 am
8
0
Garbage

Is the amount we're charged going to be cut in half, too? If we're getting half the service, we should be charged half the price.

dstewartsr
20388
Points
dstewartsr 06/01/13 - 08:17 am
9
1
They cut service in half

...and kept the full price. I suspect the people who actually pay for things are a bit more than "displeased." This is another tax on tax-PAYERS on behalf of tax MOOCHERS, that is, the old city.

I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 06/01/13 - 08:36 am
0
0
Laughing all the way to
Unpublished

Laughing all the way to Columbia county...where I chose my own company, the number of cans I wanted, how many times I wanted it picked up, and got a free recycling container. And did I mention I got a discounted rate because a lot of people in my meighborhood use this same company. Oh and did I mention they work everyday, INCLUDING holidays. Oh and did I mention that once I forgot to take my can to the street and I called the company and she politely told me to take my can to the street and someone would come by that afternoon and empty it, and they did.

I sold all of my rental properties in RC and got the heck out of dodge. People can't afford to live there for what you're getting for your money.

And by the way: Columbia County is doing great and guess what-WE DON'T HAVE A PATHETIC WASTE OF TAXPAYERS MONEY MAYOR, OR MAYOR PRO TEM. Seriously, what the heck is that anyway. Same guy, same responsibilities, higher pay, different title so he can feel important when he goes to bed at night.

JRC2024
7951
Points
JRC2024 06/01/13 - 08:51 am
4
1
Once a week is still too much

Once a week is still too much for me. I just do not have that much garbage.

just an opinion
2351
Points
just an opinion 06/01/13 - 08:44 am
5
0
I will be overflowing

Using my recycling bin and regular trash can will not accomadate a family of 6. I'll be looking for a dumpster. And the inner city, God help us.

dsterling9
629
Points
dsterling9 06/01/13 - 08:46 am
7
0
Garbage Service

I see special consideration/exemption have already begun and the 'new' service has not even started. I am sick and tired of special consideration for 'downtown' from the inception of 'consolidation'. Article says there are a lot of people adapting...like we have a choice. One thing...a replacement cart will cost the customer. Don't feel this is right since most of the damage to the cart is done by the truck and handling crew or it is left in the street and hit by a vehicle. By the way commissioners...you think you are hearing a lot now...wait until the service does not 'work as advertised'.

bgthompson4
23
Points
bgthompson4 06/01/13 - 08:47 am
5
0
Uninformed

Maybe I have been sitting around under a mushroom or something and missed hearing of this, but I would certainly like to know when my one day a week is. I don't mind one day a week, I am retired and only set my garbage once a week, but I need to know what day now. Also, I have NEVER had a recycle bin, and would certainly like to see my rates lowered especially living on Social Security. Do they plan on dropping us a note or anything??

CobaltGeorge
149956
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/01/13 - 09:00 am
2
1
Just A Prediction

Watch the change of atmosphere on the side of your roads in the coming weeks. The fly population may increase more than it is now.

toomuch
28
Points
toomuch 06/01/13 - 09:10 am
5
0
bgthompson4

The city sent out letters the week before last. If you didn't get one, just peek out your window and see when all your neighbors have put their trash on the street. :)

Those of you who own vacant properties in the city limits with no house on them, YOU will be paying for trash pick-up at THOSE properties, too -- even if there is no structure on the property. The rate will be somewhat cheaper, but you will pay.

Dixieman
12900
Points
Dixieman 06/01/13 - 10:32 am
9
0
Why hasn't anyone figured out the REAL problem?

This is classic: Politicians grant a monopoly contract to one outfit, and as a result prices inevitably go up and service inevitably declines. You don't need to look any further than Columbia County for the answer: We have several firms competing for our business, and as a result prices have not risen very much for 5 or 10 years and service is great. Can anyone out there say, "free market economy"?

GnipGnop
11464
Points
GnipGnop 06/01/13 - 11:21 am
4
0
Well someone has to pay

for all those worthless studies...I am real curious why the garbage contract wasn't bid out...of course that could have been worse now that I think about it....

dichotomy
30502
Points
dichotomy 06/01/13 - 11:30 am
7
0
I am extremely PO'd at HALF

I am extremely PO'd at HALF THE SERVICE which means DOUBLE THE PRICE. I am extremely PO'd that the suburban and rural property owners ARE STILL SUBSIDIZING GARBAGE SERVICE FOR THE OLD CITY PROPERTY OWNERS. I am extremely PO's that the "profits" from this overpriced garbage service and the profits from the taxpayer provided CNG TRUCKS, the taxpayer provided CNG GAS COLLECTION FACILITY, and the profits from the taxpayer provided CNG SERVICE STATION, are not going back into reducing our garbage fees or our property taxes.

I also agree with the point another commenter made about being charged for a damaged cart. I live on a rural road with 55 to 70 mph traffic. I have to set my cart back off of the road a few feet because of the open, deep, soon to be RAIN TAXED DITCH. The haulers empty my cart and then leave it sticking out into the road where the speeding drivers come along and play billiard shot with it. It's NOT MY FAULT when YOUR HAULERS leave the cart sitting in the road and the cart gets damaged. No property owner intentionally damages their cart.....YOUR HAULERS do the damage and/or CAUSE THE DAMAGE, and since you are making a profit on this deal, YOU should replace damaged carts FREE OF CHARGE.

Navarro
30
Points
Navarro 06/01/13 - 11:30 am
5
0
Garbage now Lawn service next?

Half the service at the same price! YOU'RE FIRED; oh wait, I don't have that right. Where is my freedom when I can not hire or fire my garbage man? Will there be a service to cut my grass and paint my house next?

Gage Creed
15674
Points
Gage Creed 06/01/13 - 02:14 pm
5
0
No need to be concerned over

No need to be concerned over solid waste removal in the county.... according to the oracle we will all be moving to the "Urban Core" as soon as all this happens...

"1. The massive historic building at 301 9th street was recently sold. This property is located right next to JB White condo parking garage/private parking building on Ellis street.
2. Rural Sourcing 100 IT jobs, ZAPATA Technology, and Southpoint Media new office(opening June 6th) in the Enterprise Mill
http://www.enterprisemill.com/index.php/Current-Tenants.html
3. Holiday Inn Express
4. Sprint Food & Metro Market(Open air seating, 1st floor urban market: restaurant/convenience store, and 2nd floor Sprint Food corporate offices and space for other tenants)
5. Discovery Plaza(former Discovery Plaza)
6. Farmhaus Burger opening/seven apartments on the second floor/new restaurant underway next door"

(psst...they don't worry about garbage in the urban core.)

KSL
121403
Points
KSL 06/01/13 - 02:15 pm
3
0
I like the frog!

I like the frog!

Darby
23589
Points
Darby 06/02/13 - 10:55 am
2
0
You get less, you pay more.....

That's the beauty of out of control government at work....

Darby
23589
Points
Darby 06/02/13 - 10:56 am
2
0
The word "work"...

in this case, being a mental fabrication.

Darby
23589
Points
Darby 06/03/13 - 11:11 am
1
0
Let me clarify that...

Those guys on the trucks work their butts off and deserve every cent they are paid.

Maybe more.......

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