Changes may bring garbage interruptions

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2004

County residents should expect slight disruptions in garbagepickup this week as a new waste management company takes overoperations, county officials said today.

Solid Waste Clerk Debbie Brent said BFI Waste Services is behindschedule because of equipment malfunctions but will work throughthe week in an attempt to get caught up before Waste Management ofMississippi takes over garbage collection operations for the countyMonday.

BFI will run its Wednesday route today and will make its usualThursday pickups Friday.

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In addition, Brent said, Waste Management will begin itsoperations Friday, running its own Friday route, “which differsslightly from the BFI route.” If time permits, Brent said, “theywill run BFI’s normal Friday route and try to get all theexcess.”

Therefore, she said, crews from both BFI and Waste Managementwill make garbage pickups Friday.

“Because of the end of the month and the new fiscal period,Waste Management is going to step in and try to get us caught upbefore beginning their scheduled routes Monday,” Brent said.

Waste Management was scheduled to take over garbage operationsMonday. The company could not begin operations in September becauseit needed time to train the sanitation crews, teach them the newroutes and provide the necessary equipment.

That has been done, said County Administrator David Fields, butthe company was not expecting to make the Friday pickup thisweek.

“They have a pretty good idea of what BFI’s normal Friday routewas, but a few areas may get missed and the times of some of thepick ups may be different,” he said.

Fields recommended residents who normally have Friday pickupplace their garbage in a container by the road Friday morningbecause of the possible difference in pickup times.

“I know this going to be very confusing for some people,” Brentsaid.

Service will resume Monday under the new routes established byWaste Management and this week published in The DAILY LEADER.

Fields cautioned there may be further disruptions in garbageservice next week as Waste Management makes adjustments to itspreplanned operations.

“We expect the first week to have some rough spots, but theyhave assured us we should see a vast improvement in service fromthem after that,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the changeoverand improvement on the service we’ve had.”

Inquiries about the new routes or this week’s pickups may bemade to the Waste Management office in Pike County at (601)276-9301 or the main office at 1-866-261-0482.

“I’ll be learning this along with the customers, so I may not beable to answer many questions the first few weeks,” Brent said.

The county is currently operating on a month-to-month contractwith BFI Waste Services under an agreement made in June. Theagreement was made after the county discovered its permanentcontract with the company would lapse in July.

BFI agreed to the temporary service while supervisors pursuedlegal channels necessary to rebid the contract.

BFI, however, lost the contract in the bidding process tocompetitor Waste Management, which also services Brookhaven andseveral other counties and municipalities in the area.

Waste Management’s new routes are printed on page 2 oftoday’s DAILY LEADER.