Advanced: Unpaid bills to blame

Published 11:14 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Of the 3,200 Pike County households Advanced Disposal serves, nearly a third of them have delinquent accounts.
That is the message Advanced Disposal officials shared with county commissioners on Monday and the message Chief Marketing Officer Mary O’Brien reiterated Tuesday.
“When you’ve got one-third of the county that has not paid their bill, it’s a problem,” she said. “They’re not going to be picked up.”
According to O’Brien, 1,033 Pike County residences are not currently paying for garbage collection service. “They’re not being collected because they are not paying for their service,” she said. “We don’t want to disappoint our customers at all. We provide a vital service. However, we do need to be paid for the services that we do provide.”
O’Brien said many of the complaints commissioners had received had come from people on the company’s stop list, which is comprised of past due accounts.
The halted service should have come as no surprise to these households. Before their service is interrupted, the households are notified by mail. O’Brien said the company also calls delinquent accounts in order to collect.
“However, we certainly are not perfect. We did miss two dirt roads,” she said. “Those dirt roads have since been collected and restored. And they are on our watch list to make sure we don’t miss them again.”
O’Brien said Advanced Disposal does its best to rectify any missed pickup as quickly as possible. For those who have gone two weeks without any service, O’Brien said customers would be credited on their next bill once they contacted the company.
Pike County resident Marna Barnett said the trash issues are not isolated incidents and have not been limited to a couple of dirt roads. She has her doubts the company will improve its service.
“I’m a believer in that, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny,” she said. “We’re getting a whole lot of lip service and not a lot of garbage service.”
Barnett has continued efforts to illustrate just how widespread the problem is. She said she has asked neighbors to speak up.
“If enough people will speak up, they will listen,” she said. “Contact the newspaper. Don’t call your county commissioner. I think they care but aren’t going to act to do anything about it.”

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