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Residents get new garbage bins

Large, green garbage cans are hitting the Brookhaven streets.

     This week, city residents have been receiving 96-gallon garbage carts and 18-gallon recycling bins from the city’s new garbage contractor, Waste Pro.

     Residents should begin using the 96-gallon carts for garbage as soon as they receive them. Garbage pickup days are remaining the same, but residents are asked to be a little conscientious about placing the cans on the street.

     “We would like for them to be placed at the end of the driveway, preferably across from the mailbox,” said Waste Pro area supervisor Doug Atkins.

     Specifically, the cans should not be placed next to an obstruction such as a mailbox or a parked car, because Waste Pro is using a semi-automated system that requires some clearance around the cans.

     Atkins estimated all city residents should receive their cans by Friday.

     The new carts are only being distributed to city residents. Though Waste Pro picked up Lincoln County’s garbage contract, county residents should continue to use their accustomed garbage bins.

     Residents will have the option to request the 96-gallon cart be switched out for a smaller, 65-gallon cart, Waste Pro officials told city leaders when aldermen approved the contract.

     Residents may request a smaller cart by calling 1-855-838-6778, though the smaller carts won’t arrive in town for residential delivery until Oct. 22. Reports of broken or stolen carts may also be directed to that number, as well as reports of carts left at vacant homes.

     Atkins said measures are in place to ensure carts are only placed at occupied homes, but Waste Pro officials have acknowledged mistakes will happen.

     Curbside recycling is scheduled to begin Nov. 5. Residents on a Monday/Thursday pickup schedule should place recycling out on the curb on Mondays. Residents on a Tuesday/Friday schedule will have recycling picked up on Tuesdays.

     Blue recycling bins are being left with residents alongside the larger garbage carts. The blue bins should be used for the curbside program.

     Items that can be recycled include aluminum cans, paper products – including newspapers, magazines and office paper – and plastic bottles.

     “As long as things are cleaned out, we’ll take it,” Atkins said of the accepted materials.

     Styrofoam, glass and plastic bags can’t be picked up for recycling.

     Atkins also reiterated that residents should have their garbage out by 7 a.m. to ensure it’s picked up, because Waste Pro is coming to some homes earlier than Waste Management trucks did.

     “People are used to their pickup times, but we’re coming earlier,” Atkins said.

     Atkins noted this has been a larger problem outside the city limits in the county.

     Waste Pro is still working to figure out a solution for residents of Brookhaven’s downtown apartments. The apartments are billed for city garbage service, but there’s nowhere to place the large carts when they’re not in use.

     “There’s not room for eight carts on the downtown streets,” Atkins said.

     Some proposals have been floated but for now, Atkins said downtown apartment dwellers should continue placing bagged garbage on the street.

     “They should keep doing what they’ve been doing until further notice,” Atkins said. “We’re trying to figure out what’s best for us.”