Trash collection issue causing stink

Published 10:47 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2014

When garbage piles up, it’s time to cause a stink.

And Marna Barnett said it looks like county residents are going to have to cause a stink to get Advanced Disposal to alleviate the problem with garbage pickup in the county.

“We have called Advanced Disposal and called again and again with complaints,” said Barnett who lives on County Road 6639. “We put out the garbage on the day of pickup and it’s too often not picked up that day or the next or the next. We keep leaving the garbage can at the road hoping the truck will run.

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“They skip days and even an entire week. Animals get in the garbage and throw it everywhere. We call Advanced Disposal and the lady is very nice and says the truck will be out, but it doesn’t come.”

The regular day for pickup on Barnett’s road is Friday, as of Wednesday the garbage was still in the can, she said.

Attempts to reach Advanced Disposal on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

“Something turned over my neighbors’ garbage can Tuesday and they had to go and pick it all up,” she said. “If they hadn’t, it would have been all up and down the road. We pay for pickup and we have to do the picking up.”

Barnett said the customers have to pay the garbage fee whether the garbage is picked up or not.

“If it’s not picked up, we shouldn’t have to pay, but we do,” she said.” The situation is bad and something has got to be done.”

Harry Sanders, Pike County administrator, said the Pike County Commission office recently has received numerous complaints about garbage collection in the county.

Sanders said the county’s solid waste collection contract was originally with Arrow Disposal but Advanced Disposal took over the contract about six years ago.

“When complaints come in, we encourage the customers to call Advanced Disposal because the contract is with them,” Sanders said. “But, the County Commission wants to do its part and step in and be an advocate for the people. Right now the situation is overwhelming. We don’t know why these problems with pickup exist.

“Weather conditions have an effect on when routes can be run. We had extreme weather conditions this year –snow, ice and too much rain – that I’m sure altered the way the garbage was collected. But weather shouldn’t be factor now.”

Sanders said he and Homer Wright, commission chairman, will work with the commission to make sure the people are getting proper service.

“We’ll do everything in our power to make it happen, whatever the measure,” he said.

The Pike County Commission does not receive any revenue from Advanced Disposal.

“They are contracted to serve the people and the customers pay them directly,” Sanders said. “There are few garbage disposal companies large enough to handle widespread areas like Pike County.”

The Pike County Commission discontinued its efforts to provide countywide solid waste collection service in 2003,

“When I came to the commission in 2002, the county was in serious financial trouble, with a $1 million deficit in the general fund,” Sanders said. “That was due mainly to continuing to sink money in a losing solid waste program. The expenses were much greater than the money coming in and a decision was made to contract the solid waste disposal out.

“The County Commission has no financial interest in the service. However, we will be an advocate for the people,” Sanders said.