Garbage pickup improving, firm says

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

County garbage efforts are beginning to improve, but residentscan still expect some minor glitches as Waste Management Inc.continues to tweak its service, supervisors were told Monday.

James Funderburg, district manager for Waste Management, saidsupervisors already should be receiving fewer complaints fromresidents, but even that number should drop soon.

“There aren’t any hot spots right now, so it’s kind of mellowedout,” he said. “It’ll probably be a couple more months before weget super consistent.”

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Supervisors said they had already noticed a decline incalls.

“I haven’t had any calls in a week,” District Five SupervisorGary Walker said.

District Two Supervisor and Board President Bobby J. Wattsagreed service was improving.

“In District Two, we may have had one or two calls last week, sothat’s good,” he said, jokingly adding that they had originallybeen receiving one or two calls a minute.

Some supervisors, however, said they were still receiving callsabout late night pickups.

“It’s getting better all the time,” Funderburg said. “As we doit more and more and get acclimated to the route we’ll get quickerand quicker. We also had an issue that caused us to replace one ofthe crews and that slowed us down some.”

Two related problem areas in waste removal involving privatedriveways were also brought to the board’s attention.

Funderburg presented a form to the board that would releaseWaste Management from taking any responsibility for damage toprivate driveways in the few instances where the driveways wereused for the company to do its job.

Driveways at homes with handicapped persons are used to save thehandicapped from a hardship, he said. Also, some trailer parks havetheir drop-off points off the main road, and the company has to useprivate drives to get there.

District One Supervisor the Rev. Jerry Wilson expressed concernthat Waste Management would terminate its handicap service if thesupervisors did not sign the form releasing the company fromliability for damaged driveways.

“I certainly understand (Waste Management’s) position,” saidCounty Attorney Bob Allen. “You’re getting out of your area (toprovide a service under special circumstances) and don’t need to beheld liable.”

Allen recommended the board sign the Waste Management form andthen pass a resolution that the county also not be held liable fordamage to private driveways under those circumstances.

“(Residents) need to know up front though that if they authorizeor request this service, that they will have to repair their owndriveways if they become damaged,” he said.

District Four Supervisor W.D. “Doug” Moak also expressed hisdesire that the county establish a policy that would requiretrailer parks to get dumpsters and place them along the main roadto avoid Waste Management’s use of private driveways there.

Such a policy, he said, would also avoid problems like he hasseen at a trailer park in his district. That park has a fenced-inenclosure at the rear of the park that is used by residents thereas a garbage drop. However, it is also filling up with loose trash,which Waste Management is not obligated to pick up.

Allen said he would look into drafting up such a plan and bringit to the next meeting of the board.

In other matters, Tax Assessor/Collector Nancy Jordan said theplan to combine the city and county tax collection services in heroffice is proceeding smoothly.

She also warned that residents could expect a much higher taxbill than normal next year because all city and county taxes wouldbe included in the same bill.

“It will be from my office, but it will be for all taxes thatthey owe – city taxes, county taxes and school taxes,” Jordansaid.