Arrow to deliver new trash cans

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pike County residents signed up for curbside garbage collection can expect to see new Arrow Disposal cans delivered to their homes starting March 16.

Arrow Disposal, the new curbside garbage collection contractor for the county, will begin collections on April 1.

“We’re going to start delivering our cans Monday, March 16,” said Richard Urrutia, CEO for Arrow. Urrutia said the company would deliver bright blue cans, much different from the cans used by current contractor Advanced Disposal.

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Urrutia said the cans would be delivered to those on the list of paying customers the company received from Advanced Disposal. However, he said, nearly one-third of the county’s eligible households are not signed up for the service.

“Currently one third of the people in Pike County don’t have garage service. The county is not making them, and even the company before was getting their bills mixed up,” Urrutia said.

Arrow has reached out to un-served households in an effort to build the customer base. “We sent a letter to the 1,300 customers in Pike County not receiving service and said, ‘OK, we’re here to tell you about us. We’re the new contractor and we will begin April 1.’”

Customers who are not currently receiving service can contact Arrow to sign up for garbage collection.

Urrutia said the company had to change collection routes slightly, but customers who receive a new can on March 16 will see a white sticker on top of their can indicating their new day of service.

“There will be minor change in routing,” Urrutia said. “All of that will be explained on your cart on a white weatherized sticker. They will circle in red Sharpie what day your service day is. We’re changing very little of the routing. Some people from Monday are being shifted, but your sticker will indicate that.”

Urrutia said the company is continuing to work with the county to reduce the number of fee exemptions due to Social Security exemptions among customers. County commissioners were tasked with shortening the list given to them by Advanced Disposal to under 425 Social Security exempt customers, and Urrutia said the county’s regulation of the exemptions had been subpar during Advanced Disposal’s contract.

“Chambers County is about 4,000 to 5,000 people, and they had roughly 200 exemptions,” Urrutia said. “Pike County has 3,300 customers, and they had over 400 exemptions … There is a state law that says you have to regulate it every year, and it didn’t seem like that was happening here.”

Urrutia said that in order for a person to qualify for a Social Security exemption with the solid waste company, Social Security must be the sole income for the household.

Urrutia said Arrow Disposal will be responsible for regulating the exemption list each year.

“We are going to take over Social Security exemptions,” Urrutia said. “Every year they’re going to have to recertify. They have to mail a letter in every year to their banks. The bank will verify ‘yes, you have an account with us, and a Social Security check is the only deposit that goes into that account.’”

Urrutia said the company also has adopted a “buy local” mentality, which includes local hiring.

“We’ll hire about five or six people out of Pike County,” Urrutia said. “We have a buy local policy, so anything we can get locally we will.”

And, despite the hiccups, Urrutia said the company was eager to begin servicing Pike County once again. Arrow held the contract until 2007.

“We are excited,” Urrutia said. “I actually have my previous manager back, and we’ve already done the routing. When carts start hitting the ground and the people who aren’t on service, see new ones coming out, then I’m hoping a lot of them will sign up.”