Changing Garbage Service Now Could Cost City Millions

Commission To Vote On Downtown Safety Plan (Image 1)

 Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Johnson says he's not against tossing out the new trash service.

“If we got six votes to do it if we got five others who said hey yes it's worth doing it I would consider re-doing it,” said Johnson.

The city's new trash service starts in June, it has already generate some heat because instead of twice a week pickup for household garbage it will be once a week.

The city has signed contracts with two private companies to provide pickup.

These companies have hired two small local haulers as subcontractors.

But two other companies currently picking up are out under the new contract, and they would like to see the contract revisited to stay on the job.

“12 years 12 years, said James Chance, an official with Berry Smith Sanitation, we'll just have to close our doors and a lot of people will be unemployment,” he said. 

 “I think it's going to be awfully hard to un-ring the bell at this  particular point in time, we looked at local participation they've met that the goals that  were set,” said Russell, because the two primary contractors have met the city goal of %25 percent local participation.

Commissioners are also unhappy that even though the contract was changed last year it was not put back out for bids.

“Six votes can change anything if you get six commissions to say hey we need to go back out and re-bid this thing then that's what it's going to be,” said Johnson, understanding that might be easier said than done when it comes to signed contracts.

But this is what's already going on, one of the  prime contractors, Advanced Disposal, is spending two point six  million dollars building a natural gas filling station for garbage trucks on Tobacco Road.

That is one requirement of the contract.

The other company, Inland Services has new trucks that run on natural gas; the truck cost $270 thousand dollars each, and Inland has purchased 22 of them at a cost of six million dollars.

“If we stop now it would probably be a very expensive decision at this time,” says City Administrator Fred Russell.

“Would the city have to buy trucks and a gas station?”

“Likely, it would be more than likely we'd be talking about pending litigation and I don't want to comment on that,” said Russell

But even with new service starting in two months Augusta Commissioners are more and more into the trash talk.

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