Fewer Augustans should awaken this morning to uncollected garbage or recycling, according to Augusta Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson.
“I believe that would be the case. The only area where that has been a challenge is on assisted collections,” Johnson said, referring to the homes of the disabled who are unable to put the bins on the roadside.
The city’s new weekly collection contract got off to a rocky start June 3, with thousands of missed pickups as most of the city’s 58,000 garbage customers were assigned a new hauler, truck, route and collection day.
One of two haulers under the contract, Advanced Disposal, has called in additional resources to handle missed collections, but Johnson said most missed pickups have been addressed.
South Augusta resident Carol Bruce was one customer who was missed last week, and she wondered whether the city will reimburse her for that day.
“When can I expect my $6 refund?” Bruce said.
That is unlikely, but the rollout has made the city aware of several flaws in the system, Johnson said.
One was a hauler’s decision to send out a “chase truck” that catches missed homes whose driver was unaware of which households were missed the first time.
“We weren’t sending the same driver back to catch his mistake,” Johnson said.
Also, Advanced underestimated what is needed to collect garbage along narrow Summerville streets and alleys, he said. For those collections, the company is hoping to purchase smaller vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, which is required under the contract, Johnson said.
Advanced also underestimated the resources required to cover the Summerville route, which runs between Wrightsboro Road and Walton Way toward downtown. The company will add a truck to cover the area at no extra charge to the city.