Dog bite slows trash collection

Published 9:37 pm Monday, December 3, 2018

Children say the dog ate their homework.

Arrow Disposal Service Inc. says the dog ate their garbageman.

ADSI Operations Manager Chris Martin told county supervisors Monday the local trash supervisor was out of work for a few days getting rabies shots after a dog ripped up his pants and drew blood during a garbage pickup in Lincoln County last week. That’s just part of the reason — not the whole reason — trash collection was a little off last week, Martin explained after the board hit him up for details on several missed roads and houses.

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“I know we’ve had some truck issues, and that’s on us,” he said. “We’ve hired two new drivers and two new helpers, and they’ve got to learn their routes.”

Supervisors asked Martin to visit Monday’s meeting after receiving phone calls from constituents over the weekend complaining of missed garbage pickups in districts 1, 3 and 5. District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey said Arrow had missed several roads in his district over the last two weeks, and although the company made good over the weekend, he’s wary of letting the new contractor develop bad habits.

“I know you got everything cleaned up Saturday, but that’s not what the contract says,” Falvey said. “It’s not being handled, and I’m talking about seven or eight roads, not just one house.”

ADSI is still adjusting to Lincoln County after roughly 60 days on the job. The new hires are still gaining experience, and one of the brand-new garbage trucks flunked out, requiring an engine replacement after less than 500 miles of use, Martin said.

“It made it here and ran one day,” he said.

Martin said some of the employees appear not to be using the tablets placed in each truck that allow the company to monitor and track progress on the routes via GPS. He promised supervisors he’d crack down on the misses.

Despite the complaints, supervisors were gentle with Martin and, so far, are displaying plenty of tolerance for the new company, which started a three-year contract for both the county and City of Brookhaven Oct. 1 after former trash collection company Waste Pro imploded in 2018.

Supervisors spent the summer running behind Waste Pro’s trucks collecting missed garbage by the ton, recording their expenses along the way. The board ultimately deducted their expenses from the company’s final two payments — keeping around $143,000 of $160,000 — but Waste Pro rejected the settlement earlier this month, threatening to sue.

Brookhaven aldermen voted two weeks ago to deduct their own expenses from Waste Pro’s final payment, deciding to keep more than $40,000 of the company’s $63,000 bill, despite the company’s rejection of Lincoln County’s offer.

Both Falvey and District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown told Martin they were pleased with how Arrow has communicated with the board and worked to address problems.

“We just want to make sure we don’t get ourselves in the same shape we were last year,” Falvey said.