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Lincoln County Board of Supervisors ready to dump Waste Pro

Lincoln County supervisors appear likely to hire a new garbage collection service later this year after current provider Waste Pro’s contract expires in September.

Frustration from every district bubbled gently over at Tuesday’s board meeting when supervisors began comparing one another’s efforts to pick up residential garbage missed by the big green trucks on collection days. The measuring game quickly turned into a forecast on issuing a request for proposals later this year and an eagerness to hear what other companies might be able to offer Lincoln County.

“We need to invite them to come in here and talk to us, not just one but as many as wants to,” said District 1 Supervisor Jerry Wilson. “Right now, what we got is not working. We have to get out and get it.”

Supervisors generally contract with garbage pick-up providers on three-year contracts with an option to extend another three years. In September, Waste Pro will reach the end of an extended six-year contract and have the option to compete with other trash disposal companies for a new three-year deal.

But after supervisors unanimously voiced complaints about the company in Tuesday’s “trash bash,” it appears unlikely a new Waste Pro bid would even be considered. Supervisors claimed numerous missed pick-ups all over the county and problems with trucks turning in private driveways.

“They’re just skipping so much. It’s really bad,” said District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown. “They’re kind of like a hamster in the cage — their hamster is dead, but the wheel is still trying to turn.”

Supervisors have set up a trash problem hotline in the tax office where every call from citizens is logged and an e-mail generated. Tax collector Blake Pickering said the line averages 150-200 calls on a normal week, but can reach more than 300 calls on weeks when numerous garbage routes experience problems.

Such documentation could be used to reject a possible low bid from Waste Pro in the future — Mississippi’s purchase law requires local governments to accept the lowest bids for contracts and services, but exceptions can be made for quality, track record and other considerations. The law opens restrictions even wider for waste collection.

“I doubt they even turn in a bid,” said Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop.

Supervisors still have six months to consider the problem, but county administrator David Fields said any request for proposal issued should receive five or more responses.

“There are a lot more options now. Some companies have already contacted Lincoln County about September,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a lot of proposals.”

Lincoln County residents experiencing problems with trash pickup can call the Lincoln County Solid Waste Department at 601-835-3488.

Waste Pro did not return calls seeking comment.