Residents: Trash woes continue

Published 6:49 pm Thursday, July 3, 2014

The stench about county garbage pickup continues as county residents question not only the dependability of Advanced Disposal but also the backing of the Pike County Commission.

“I don’t believe service will be improved until the county commission does the job they were elected to do and lets a garbage contract that provides dependable service,” said James W. Price, a Banks resident.

Price said his garbage was not picked up on Monday, the week of June 9, so his wife called Advanced Disposal on Thursday, June 12.

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“The person that answered the phone said she had no complaints but, after verifying that we had paid, she said she would put in a work order,” Price said. “Of course, they didn’t pick up the garbage until the next scheduled date, June 16.”

Price said from his observation of the garbage cans on the roadway after the scheduled pickup date, all of Country Road 6631 was missed. County Road 6631 is a well-traveled, paved road that connects highways 29 and 130.

Not only are county residents taking issue with Advanced Disposal, they are also questioning the contract the Pike County Commission let with the company.

Barbara Tatom said county residents are being charged for pickup even when their containers are missed.

“According to what we’ve been told, Advanced Disposal has from 24 to 48 hours to pick up the containers after the specified pickup date,” Tatom said. “If your pickup date is Friday, then your garbage can sits until Tuesday because Saturday and Sunday don’t figure in and you still have to pay.”

Tatom, who pays bills on behalf of her mother, said the bills are paid three months in advance.

The check for her mother’s bill cleared the bank on Feb. 25 for the March 1 through May 31 period.

“For that period, there were four weeks that my mother’s garbage was not picked up on the scheduled day,” Tatom said.

When Tatom contact the Advanced Disposal office in Tallassee, she was told the computer showed her mother was due for collection on the Friday route.

“My mother’s scheduled pickup had always been Monday,” Tatom said.

She received a letter confirming Friday as the pickup day for her mom’s container but on Thursday, the garbage was still in the can.

“I was told by someone in the Montgomery office that the computer doesn’t keep the county route up to date in the system nor does the company retain drivers,” Tatom said adding that residents should not be penalized for the ineptness of Advanced Disposal.

Tatom said the Pike County Commission has a responsibility to make sure the contract that it let is honored.

Advanced Disposal officials met with the Pike County Commissioners on June 23 and said of the 3,200 Pike County households Advanced Disposal serves nearly a third of them have delinquent accounts.

Mary O’Brien, Advanced Disposal chief marketing officer, told The Messenger on June 24 as saying when one-third of the county has not paid their bill, “they are not going to be picked up.”

She said the complaints commissioners had received came from people on the company’s stop list, which is comprised of past due accounts.

Price said he has not seen the contract the Pike County Commission let with Advanced Disposal but if it were let by the commission with no means of collecting delinquent fees, “there is a problem.”

“This means the bill-paying customers are at the mercy of the non-bill paying customers,” Price said. “A contract that puts the paying residents at a disadvantage because of non-paying residents in unacceptable.”