Garbage pickup service moving to fix problems

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New local management and increased driver training are two ofseveral changes being made by Waste Management to improve servicesin the Brookhaven and Lincoln County areas, a company officialssaid during Monday’s supervisors meeting.

Waste Management District Manager James Funderburg said driverswould also operate under increased supervision and receive new,updated road maps of the area to ensure that all routes were runcorrectly. He said the changes were implemented after a recentstring of isolated incidents where the company’s drivers had missedstops in consecutive weeks.

Area residents have voiced their complaints to countysupervisors, who passed them on to Waste Management. Funderburgappeared before the supervisors Monday in “humble mode” to explainthe problems and forthcoming corrections.

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“We’ve had some service issues during the past couple of weeks,”he said. “There have been some repeat incidents, and they’reinexcusable, but we will remedy these problems. We’ve located theproblems, identified them and made the appropriate changes.”

The biggest of the moves involves a changing of the guard at thecompany’s local office in Summit. Funderburg said he had severalprospects for the managing job, had done multiple interviews andsome second interviews, adding that he was very close to the hiringstage.

As for the reason for the management change and new trainingprocedures, District Two Supervisor Bobby J. Watts provoked theexplanation.

“You’re paid and paid well to do a good job,” Watts said. “Andyou’re not doing it, and I just don’t understand why.”

Funderburg explained the mishaps as caused by new drivers thatwere not familiar with the area, but he reserved some of the blamefor himself.

“We messed up,” he said. “It hasn’t been a widespread problem inthe past, but if we miss an area one time, then there should bemore supervision so it isn’t missed twice.

“We pick up garbage; that’s our job,” Funderburg told thesupervisors. “If a doctor doesn’t treat his patients, he’s not agood doctor, and he’s not going to have a job very long. The samegoes for us. If we don’t pick up the garbage, then what are wedoing?”

Funderburg assured the supervisors that the problems with missedgarbage pickups would desist and informed them of an instant remedyfor the problem. He said that calling the Waste Management callcenter database at 601-276-9301 would allow company officials aninstant look at the problem pickup site, and the information couldbe forwarded to the local office and a garbage truck rerouted tothe site.