Waste official seeks fewer trash pickups

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After 10 years of city-managed, twice-weekly garbage service, it's time to streamline solid waste collection and encourage households to recycle more, according to Augusta Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson.

"We have done the heavy lifting," Johnson said of Augusta's shift to a generous, semiweekly trash pickup in 2000. "How many tires does a house get rid of in a week? We take two."

In addition to two tires, the city will collect up to 190 gallons of trash, 250 cubic feet of yard waste, a kitchen appliance or sofa and a container of recyclable materials from every household each week.

"In many cases our service levels exceed the demand of most of our customers," he told Augusta commissioners in a Monday committee meeting.

Johnson recommended that when the city renegotiates its solid waste contract with haulers this year, it revert to once-weekly trash pickup, reduce the amount of yard waste a household may leave on the sidewalk and move bulk waste pickup to a call-in service.

Johnson proposed that each household be provided a single, 35-gallon container, the size of a metal trash can, to be emptied once a week.

For a premium, households may obtain a 95-gallon bin, the size that most roll to the curb twice-weekly now.

Augusta's engineering committee did not discuss how much, if any, the cost to consumers might change if the proposal were adopted but accepted it as information.

Commissioner Corey Johnson, chairman of the committee, said he thought the commission could lower rates for households that opt for basic service under the new plan.

"If you don't need it, you don't pay for it," he said.

Right now, residents who live inside the pre-consolidation city limits pay a mill in property taxes, plus a $101.50 fee annually for pickup. Outside the old city limits residents pay $296.50 a year.

Other business

An ordinance changing the meeting times for the Augusta Commission, commission committees and commission closed-door legal meetings goes before the board next week, although the commission could reject parts or all of the plan.

The ordinance, drafted by Interim General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie, moves semimonthly commission meetings from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., still on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

It also changes committee meetings, which typically start at 12:30 p.m. on the second and last Mondays of the month, to 5 p.m., and schedules legal meetings at 3 p.m. Mondays, before the committee meetings.

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wcr250
41
Points
wcr250 03/09/10 - 05:20 am
0
0
I am paying for something I

I am paying for something I did not ask for and they want to cut it in half.I saw those fools on television,what idiots.I never asked them to get in the trash business. One pick up a week is worth about $25 a month

methree
0
Points
methree 03/09/10 - 06:59 am
0
0
why change the size of the

why change the size of the pick up containers? just more money for new cans. once a week is fine. if you need more -pay for it. and as far as recycling - i had to buy my own larger container because my trash co. wouldn't give me a larger one. Don't you just love the diference in the fees!!

AWyld1
3
Points
AWyld1 03/09/10 - 08:01 am
0
0
So the service will be cut in

So the service will be cut in half but the price will not....how is it even legal to rip off the people that live outside of the city? Any lawyers in richmond county willing to take that one on?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 03/09/10 - 08:41 am
0
0
Glad to see we are a

Glad to see we are a consolidated city, everyone gets equal service in river city. No special treatment for some, no sir. Everybody is treated the same. Now I understand a little better what a "stakeholder" actually is and whay people in the fringes of the city are not "stakeholders".

deekster
24
Points
deekster 03/09/10 - 08:42 am
0
0
Yard waste, limbs, leaves,

Yard waste, limbs, leaves, etc. should be shredded in a "chipper" on the spot. Less trips to a repository. Less man hours. Mass reduced by 90%. If we can provide every city employee with a government vehicle, we can surely buy a few chippers. The resulting "mulch" can be sold or composted. Who is putting sofa's, mattresses, washers and dryers by the curb? Health issues? Code violations? Invest in a "monster shredders" that will reduce the mass by 90%. But alas, this is Dysfunction Junction. And I hear an "All Abooooard". Next stop, the Deke Coperhaver-Boardman Stadium and Sports Complex.

Native Augustan
12
Points
Native Augustan 03/09/10 - 08:43 am
0
0
I saw this coming last year.

I saw this coming last year. Reduce the pickup to once a week with no reduction in cost and probably an increase. This service should be put out for bid -- oops I forgot -- my Bad -- look who would approve the contract -- Gerry Sams.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 03/09/10 - 08:45 am
0
0
Next it will be "how many

Next it will be "how many flushes per day per household". If its yellow, save the fellow. If its brown, flush it down. Reality, not a joke, in some parts of our great nation. Laundry once a week. They enforce/collect fines by your water consumption. It a money maker. Better that "rain tax".

disssman
6
Points
disssman 03/09/10 - 08:49 am
0
0
First we have to answer the

First we have to answer the question. Is it a fee for service or a tax? The difference in the law would determine the response. Further, didn't we just buy new 95 gallon bins at a huge cost? And now this mental giant wants to spend millions more to purchase different sizes? Who hired this guy, the same person that hired Chiquita? I also note that he dosen't have a reason for the proposals except that the contract is coming again this year. Has the contractor notified us that they will not be bidding? If so we need to start advertising for a new one and not wait till the last minute. Get peace of mind - get new blood in our local government.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 03/09/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
Fifteen a month, once per

Fifteen a month, once per week, with a private homeowner contract. If it more than that per household when you have an entire county served. Something is amiss. Something stinks and it ain't the trash. Trash collection is fine in Conifer Place? All Abooooard!!!

john
886
Points
john 03/09/10 - 08:52 am
0
0
I can see going to once a

I can see going to once a week. I can see bulk waste as needed instead of someone patrolling the streets for it. But why provide new containers, didnt we all just get new ones recently? That seems wasteful. Just use the ones we already have with the pretty augusta logo on the side. It seems the smarter thing would be to offer smaller ones and a discount to those that desire it. At my house with 2 kids, I like the big can. My mom who lives alone doesnt need that much capacity. Give her a smaller can and a break.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 03/09/10 - 08:55 am
0
0
These "want a be" public

These "want a be" public officials haven't a clue as to how to run a successful business. They "play everyday without a new stadium". Hey their mistakes are covered by "TAXES". Sealed bids, written to address direct "specification, time and cost". Not in Dysfunction Junction. Government town, run by cronyism, OEO and Affirmative Action.

belle
301
Points
belle 03/09/10 - 08:57 am
0
0
Where is the part of the
Unpublished

Where is the part of the article that refers to recycling??

belle
301
Points
belle 03/09/10 - 08:57 am
0
0
Where is the part of the
Unpublished

Where is the part of the article that refers to recycling??

dichotomy
29815
Points
dichotomy 03/09/10 - 08:59 am
0
0
What idiots. If they change

What idiots. If they change to once a week then most families will need to keep the large containers. The metal cans will not work in the rural areas because everyone will leave them sitting by the road on the right-of-way. The answer is once a week pickup, keep the large roll out containers, and keep the pick up for bulk items. That is the same service I had from a private contractor for half the price before the county forced their service down my throat a few years ago and put my private contractor out of business. And there is no way they can call the large roll out containers "premium" service since that is what they gave us as "basic" service and that is what every other community in the nation is using as basic service. There is no way they should be able to cut service by more than half with once a week service, smaller cans, and no bulk pickup and only cut the collection fees by a few dollars and charge people more who need the roll out containers. What a rip-off.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 03/09/10 - 09:28 am
0
0
Louisiana has the solution.
Unpublished

Louisiana has the solution. Everybody just dumps all their trash alongside the roads. Kind of levels everything out. That's why the state is so flat, except for appliances. Richmond County is on the leading edge though. They're testing this alternative on Crenshaw Road already.

crackerjack
143
Points
crackerjack 03/09/10 - 09:37 am
0
0
In Columbia County, I pay

In Columbia County, I pay $64.00 for 3 months of once a week pick-up, with Columbia Waste.
The average being about $5.33 per week. in a large roll-around trash can.
So by some Richmond County residents paying $296.50 per year, it
averages about $5.70 per week right now for two pick-ups per week.
If you have too much trash for a once a week pick-up, install a trash compacter, and garbage disposal.

crackerjack
143
Points
crackerjack 03/09/10 - 09:40 am
0
0
Thanks fd1962 for the

Thanks fd1962 for the community information, I'll bet there are some out there looking for a place to dump appliances. lol And I'm not about to tell them the road in Columbia County to dump tires.

crackerjack
143
Points
crackerjack 03/09/10 - 09:44 am
0
0
Just Curious, Do the tenants

Just Curious, Do the tenants in the Government Housing Projects pay $101.50?

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 03/09/10 - 09:48 am
0
0
Doesn't matter, crackerjack.
Unpublished

Doesn't matter, crackerjack. Even the Sheriff's Dept. admits they have no knowledge of the location of that county road. lol

jasall18
1
Points
jasall18 03/09/10 - 10:20 am
0
0
I can't fill up my 95 gal can

I can't fill up my 95 gal can twice in one week, but a smaller can would easily be filled before the week is up. that makes no sense, the smaller can should be by request for a service that is gonna be cut in half, or just don't change the cans at all. DUH!

cleanup
0
Points
cleanup 03/09/10 - 10:58 am
0
0
I've noticed that most

I've noticed that most residents apparently don't recycle, or they at least don't have the recycling can with the blue top. Friends that see mine ask me where I got it (I just called the company and they dropped it off). Maybe, the company could just push the recycling program, get those cans out to people, and more people would be able to do with only one day trash pickup. But, I agree, let us keep the big can. Reducing the yard waste pickup shouldn't happen, as they barely pick up yard waste as it is.

rharris3237
11
Points
rharris3237 03/09/10 - 10:58 am
0
0
I know that there are plenty

I know that there are plenty of lawyers reading the paper and you are all over the TV about call me for your injuries after a car wreck. Where are they now please get on TV and let us band together to have equal payments for everyone on garbage pickups. I know you could make a fortune because the comissioners knew they were doing this illegally to begin with. Why should the city pay less than half of what the county pays in taxes. Every single house in the pick up area should be taxed the same. I do not care if you own 1 house or 40 houses everyone should be paying the same.

Boo-Hoo
0
Points
Boo-Hoo 03/09/10 - 11:04 am
0
0
Well let’s look at

Well let’s look at this:
• Cut pick up in half
• Reduce the amount of yard waste picked up
• Use 60% smaller cans
• Pick up large items by appointment only
• Encourage more recycling

With that last item, I’m sure the rates will only go up 50% to 75%

flipa
35
Points
flipa 03/09/10 - 12:07 pm
0
0
ANY county that goes to once

ANY county that goes to once a week pickup suffers TERRIBLE increases in dumping, burn barrel soot, massive increases in flies, and all manner of stench & filth. Scott Hudson’s First Saturday Foundation & i have just finished picking up 60 yrs of trash dumping and now they want the entire county to be covered by trash AGAIN just like the good old days. Does anyone here remember the putrid smell of week old trash festering and feeding clouds of flies in the middle of a hot GA summer? I do. It’s a public health and land blight hazard! These guys suggesting this are GREEDY morons. Play the tape back and look. If it looks like a moron, talks like a moron, makes moronic suggestions that ALREADY failed before, then they just might be a moron. The answer is to get the city to sell, rent, or allow use of some of its almost 1 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$ in land they are sitting on. This will provide not only the money needed to keep our city clean, it will also bring in millions in new jobs too.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 03/09/10 - 11:32 am
0
0
Rharria3237. Now you know

Rharria3237. Now you know what the stakeholders are and where they live. Why, next thing you will ask is "are we a consolidated city" that was born because the downtown give aways almost drove the inner city into bankruptcy? But never fear, mighty stakeholder is here, to help clear up your fear, about a problem that will go away in time, like all the rest in river city. Who are we to complain anyway? Isn't that what we elect and pay (handsomely I might add) comissioners to do?

Just tired
0
Points
Just tired 03/09/10 - 12:10 pm
0
0
Wow, consolidation is great!

Wow, consolidation is great! Let's see now, what do I have that I didn't have before in the county? Choice is the first thing to come to mind. Refuse collection was provided by a number of privately held agencies. I could select the one that best suited my needs and I didn't have to block the sidewalks with garbage. The company came to my yard, gathered my trash and carried it away. I only had to pay the bill. AND I CHOSE WHAT I WANTED TO PAY! Now the politicos of Augusta have taken control and all the services grow more pathetic by the year. Police protection is, at best indifferent and wracked with scandal. The fire department has a hugely bloated administration of incompetents. The roads are terrible, trash is everywhere: Take a look at the "Southside Landfill Annex" aka Lumpkin Rd. extension. Trash illegally dumped in that area just sits and rots until the week prior to the Masters. At least in the past the Marshalls office did make a concerted effort, catching and prosecuting a number of the offenders. Water and sewerage rates have nearly quadrupled. I say let's pull the records and publish the names of those in the county that voted "yes" to consolidation. Oh yeah, and send them a "consolidated" tax bill that includes the fees assessed to every other county citizen that voted against this cities hostile takeover.

john
886
Points
john 03/09/10 - 12:51 pm
0
0
cant wait for healthcare

cant wait for healthcare reform.

steelermoose1
0
Points
steelermoose1 03/09/10 - 02:12 pm
0
0
this is just crazy talk. I

this is just crazy talk. I may not necessarily need 2 pickups per week, but i would easily fill my 95 gallon rollaway can once per week. Shoot, sometimes i do fill it twice a week. But we can make due with one pickup. DO NOT change the size of the containers. What a waste of money that would be.

MakeADifference
0
Points
MakeADifference 03/09/10 - 02:37 pm
0
0
I certainly hope that those

I certainly hope that those of you with good ideas about how to modify the proposal are actually writing to those who make decisions instead of just complaining on this website.

corgimom
26217
Points
corgimom 03/09/10 - 07:23 pm
0
0
"because the downtown give

"because the downtown give aways almost drove the inner city into bankruptcy" Disssman, do you see history repeating itself? I do.

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