Garbage pickup for holidays planned as usual

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2004

With Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on weekends this year,county and city officials are not anticipating any disruption ofgarbage service during the holiday season.

Waste Management crews, which handle garbage pickup for both thecity and county, are expected to follow their normal schedules thisweek and next.

“They would normally only take Christmas and New Year’s off, andthose are on Saturdays,” said David Fields, Lincoln Countyadministrator.

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Officials with the city, which still oversees trash pickup, saidthat service will continue through Thursday, with employees beingoff Friday and Monday. Crews are continuing a citywide trash pickupeffort this week before breaking for the holiday.

The same schedule will be followed next week leading up to NewYear’s Day, city officials said.

Waste Management has been handling garbage services for thecounty since October.

Shortly after taking over, county offices and the servicereceived numerous calls about missed garbage. Fields said he hadnoticed improvement in collections, adding that supervisors andcounty offices were not getting many calls now.

“They’ve got the routes and the routines down better now,”Fields said of Waste Management.

In another county garbage matter, officials reminded residentspaying for a year’s service in advance to get their payment in byDec. 31. County offices will be closed that day, but Fields saidthe payment can be mailed.

“It needs to be postmarked by that date,” he said.

The county offers a discount to those who pay in advance. Thebill is $108 if paid quarterly but only $96 if paid for theyear.

“If you pay by the year, you get a $12 break,” Fields said.

Debbie Brent, solid waste coordinator, said the county has morethan 9,100 garbage accounts. Last year, approximately 25 percentpaid for the year in advance, she said.

Fields indicated the overall percentage of residents paying thegarbage bill at some point during the year remains high.

“We’re at a little more than 90 percent who are paying thebill,” Fields said. “A lot will pay when their car tags comesdue.”

Under a state law, Brent said the tax office is not supposed toissue a car tag to a citizen until the garbage fee is paid. Shesaid the car tag prohibition is the county’s primary means ofenforcing garbage fee collection.