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Officials report some garbage plan success

Brookhaven officials said recent solid waste changes haveproduced some good results, but citizens’ help is needed forfurther success and to help keeps costs down.

“It’s a whole lot better than it has been being,” said WillieSmith, who was put in charge of trash collection following a recentSanitation Department reorganization designed to improve garbageand trash service efficiency.

After some tough times following the holidays, Smith said crewshad managed to catch up on collections and were even a little aheadof schedule this week. He also reported some success in citizens’adjusting to new pick up routes that were also part of thereorganization.

“Some are getting used to it and some aren’t,” Smith said.

Citizens could help in doing a better job of separating theirtrash and garbage.

Trash consists of leaves, limbs, grass clippings and otherbiodegradable matter, and can be placed in the rubbish field at theold city landfill. Smith said it costs the city $1 a ton to disposeof those items.

Garbage consists of clothing, containers, plastics and similaritems. Garbage disposal costs $33 a ton to get rid of it at anapproved landfill.

Smith pointed out the cost savings and the importance of keepingtrash and garbage separate.

“That’s the point we’re trying to make,” Smith said.

In another effort to save costs associated with solid wasteservice, city officials this month discontinued commercial garbageservice. Smith said commercial customers need to put trash andgarbage in the private dumpsters because the city is not picking uparound the private containers.

“If they have a bin, they’re not paying the city to pick upanything,” Smith said.

In considering changes, aldermen did not implement a requirementthat pine straw, leaves and grass clippings be bagged. Though notrequired, Smith noticed that some citizens are doing so anyway.

“We’ve got quite a few people putting trash in bags,” Smithsaid. “We really appreciate it and that’s helping us out alot.”

Ward 5 Alderman Tom Smith, a member of a subcommittee thatrecommended the solid waste changes, also noticed some improvementsince their implementation.

“It’s working out real good,” Smith said. “It’s just going totake time.”

The alderman said officials are monitoring the solid wastesituation, but were not planning any additional changes. He andWillie Smith were hopeful that the recent changes would continue toproduce good results and allow the city to keep its solid wasteservices.

“We’re just hoping it works out,” Tom Smith said.