An even bigger mess

New garbage collection schedule wasn't executed cleanly

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Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe not. But the city of Augusta rolled out its enchanced “3-1-1” government help phone line this month about the same time it made major changes to trash collection.

The result: 3-1-1 might just as well have been 9-1-1. The city’s help line received some 1,200 calls a day during the first week of the new trash schedule rollout.

You can’t blame customers for being royally chapped. Not only has the city changed collection days and collectors, but service has been cut back to once a week from twice a week while maintaining the same fees.

City officials say the cutback prevented a rate increase. But customers understandably feel like they’re getting half the service for the same price.

And when the rollout
occurred, so many customers were skipped that the neglected trash became stinking messes all over town.

Many of us are sitting back and wondering: Would private haulers working directly for their customers have operated in such a slipshod fashion?

Unlikely. In a free market, one must deliver the goods – or pick them up, as it were – to survive.

How could the two hauling companies under city contract, particularly Advanced Disposal, have not planned this better? That company apparently had to call in resources from other locales.

And while hiccups can be expected when going from multiple providers to just two, all the customers know is that they’ve been forced to accept once-a-week hauling instead of two at the same rate – many of whom were skipped altogether.

Seems paradoxical, but with government it seems true enough: Things might have actually been less chaotic if customers had been required to contract with a private hauler on their own. Then again, in this day and age, asking people to be responsible for themselves is tragically foolhardy.

Under such circumstances, we’d be hard-pressed to trash the city’s Environmental Services department. We’ve dumped quite a load of responsibility on them that belongs on the streets instead.

Too bad such responsibility can’t be left on the curbside along with the garbage.

Comments (7) Add comment
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Riverman1
83544
Points
Riverman1 06/15/13 - 02:19 am
4
2
Lord of the Flies

Richmond County's mess with government run garbage pick-up is what implementing Obamacare is going to be like.

carcraft
25752
Points
carcraft 06/15/13 - 05:23 am
4
2
Hit the nail on the head

Hit the nail on the head Riverman, except that instead of being able to call 311 you will have to call your congressman in DC, no local option! Wait till you miss your surgery because an illegal alien got in front of you!

seenitB4
86788
Points
seenitB4 06/15/13 - 08:00 am
0
0
The main reason

The main reason I didn't want mandated garbage pickup is because you can't fire them...we had troubles in the first week too.

RMSHEFF
16001
Points
RMSHEFF 06/15/13 - 08:05 am
1
1
Riverman1

I think it will be much, much, worse. Having unpicked up trash is bad but not being able to get treatment for a serious health issue is much worse.

deestafford
27412
Points
deestafford 06/15/13 - 08:09 am
0
2
Liberalism against the free market shows itself at the lower

level of government known as the county commission. Once again the philosophy is "they" know what is best for the people. I still say the "green" energy truck s was a bit factor in this change. I don't know whose idea this was or whose palm was being greased but it was a definite influence in the change.

The only good thing I can say is thank goodness for 3-1-1 without which there would have been more frustration.

Viva the Free Market!!!

dichotomy
32738
Points
dichotomy 06/15/13 - 03:21 pm
1
1
The problem is/was that the

The problem is/was that the garbage service was already costing us nearly twice what it should have been for a municipal garbage service. Now they have cut the service in half without reducing that already inflated price.

In reality we have HALF THE SERVICE AT TWICE THE PRICE.

RMSHEFF
16001
Points
RMSHEFF 06/15/13 - 03:46 pm
0
1
Market forces will self

Market forces will self correct and allow for the best service at the lowest price. To bad we don't have a free market with trash pickup. It seem that no matter what area you want to discuss,it is human nature to "empire build." In government or the private sector, people want their enterprise to expand and grow. This is a good thing in a free market economy but a bad thing in a government monopoly. There is NO WAY a private trash pick-up company with competition ready to take their customers could get away with cutting their service in half and not reducing their price. At least we don't have to deal with a public sector union at this point.

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