Originally created 03/06/02

City expands garbage service



More than 17,000 homeowners in west and south Augusta are expected to have city trash service by the summer.

Augusta commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to award new trash contracts to low-bidding companies, setting in motion a 90-day preparation period for collection to begin in outlying neighborhoods.

"We're just trying to get the people in that area the service they requested and voted for," said District 8 Commissioner Ulmer Bridges, who represents several south Augusta neighborhoods in the expanded service area.

Some of the areas and subdivisions being added to city routes include Silvercrest, Green Meadows, Fernwood, Fairvale, the Nepture Road area, Windsor Spring Estates, the Harding Road and Floyd Drive area and homes near Augusta Technical Institute.

The charge for collection is the same for new customers as it is for existing customers: $16.25 a month, or $195 a year, Public Works Director Teresa Smith said.

The 90-day implementation period will give the city twice as long as it had last year, when hauling companies had 45 days to prepare to service 23,000 new garbage customers, said City Administrator George Kolb.

"I wish we'd had that time last time," Mr. Kolb said.

The three-month wait time will allow collection companies time to hire additional personnel, buy additional equipment and notify the 17,107 new customers of pickup days, he said.

Service is tentatively set to start by June 1, Mr. Kolb said.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, commissioners emerged from a closed-door executive session without taking any votes on whether to terminate the city's contract with CSRA Waste, the hauler responsible for more than 70 percent of city routes.

The company's president is accused of using his Richmond County landfill exemption to avoid tipping fees for his private contracts. He has been charged with felony theft of services.

Reach Heidi Coryell Williams at (706) 823-3215 or heidi.williams@augustachronicle.com.