Citizen complains about trash pickup, county will investigate

Published 12:02 pm Monday, July 17, 2023

ZETUS — One Lincoln County resident appeared before the Board of Supervisors to air her complaints regarding Arrow Disposal Service, referred to as ADSI, and their lack of service. Carla Knighten claimed the company has not picked up her trash all year and as a result she wanted a refund for her solid waste bill. 

Knighten said she lives on Big Ern Trail Northwest off of Jackson Liberty in District 5 and has not had any service. She called the 888 number on the trash can like she was told to and called the county offices to complain about the trash pickup but nothing had been done. 

She said three other people on the road are not getting their trash picked up either. Her garbage bill will be $200 but she doesn’t want to pay because she claims there has been no service and her calls to ADSI have gone unanswered with any action. 

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“They tell me they will put me on the agenda and they will pick up my garbage and yet they don’t come,” Knighten said. “They hung up on me. I had to call them back three times before I got anyone. I shouldn’t have to pay a bill that I’m not getting service for.” 

District 3 Supervisor Nolan Williamson said he was aware of similar complaints about the ADSI call center where customers are supposed to call if their trash was not picked up. Williamson said a lady in his district called the number and one of the workers hung up on her. 

District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey said he will get the garbage picked up for Knighten. District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown said he usually texts ADSI area manager Charles Lungrin about any missed pickups and those are taken care of. 

Lungrin said at a board meeting on June 19 they have had issues with turnover and training new drivers. The drivers are also limited to eight hours of driving, Williamson said. At the July 3 board meeting Williamson said an entire crew of workers walked off the job leaving ADSI shorthanded again. 

Lincoln County Tax Assessor and Collector Blake Pickering said his office tells customers to call ADSI if it is the first time they get a missed pickup call. He said ADSI asked him to go through the proper channels on missed pickups. 

“We get 30 phone calls a day sometimes and I was causing a backlog by texting Charles and he told us to go through the proper channels,” Pickering said. “We refer them to the 888 number. We need to get whatever is wrong with the 888 number rectified. People tell me they are hung up on or they are told to speak to the county. It is not what they agreed to. It was supposed to alleviate the missed pickup calls. We are messing up the contract and corporate process by getting involved but that is not how it works. We have to get involved.” 

Lincoln County Board Attorney Greg Malta recommended the board take the issue into executive session for claims against the county. Supervisors went to executive session for about 30 minutes at the end of the board meeting before ending executive session and taking action. 

Supervisors voted unanimously to deny the refund of Knighten’s solid waste bill. Malta explained they needed to know more. 

“We will investigate it further but it was denied for now,” Malta said. 

As the board room cleared out, Falvey pulled out his phone and made a call to take care of the garbage issue for Knighten. She lives in his district. 

Brookhaven voted to accept bids for a new garbage contract after a specially called meeting on July 7. The city’s contract with ADSI expires in October and officials can either renew with ADSI again or go with a different bid.