Augusta Commissioners Talk Trash Service Changes

City leaders talked trash at Tuesday night's commission meeting.

As we first told you on Monday night, some Augusta residents are
not happy with the new one day a week garbage service. Even though it's not
going over well in many of the neighborhoods, the city administrator is
recommending that the city stay with one day a week instead of two.

But during the commission meeting
on Tuesday night, city leaders made it clear that they don't like the trash
service changes. Some of them even called for things to go back to the way they
were before.

There
was a lot going on during the commission meeting, but one of the biggest
stories of the night was several Augusta commissioners speaking out against the
garbage service changes. Tuesday night, some amendments were
made to correct some of those changes.

Residents aren't the only ones
upset with Augusta's new trash service. Several commissioners spoke out against
the changes on Tuesday night, calling the new contract “garbage.” Jim
Garrison agrees with them.

“I have an issue with them
pushing this new garbage system on us because I have had a man picking my garbage up for the past 30 years. His father was picking it up before him,” says Garrison.

But because Garrison's home is
located within 300 feet of the road, he was no longer able to use a private
trash collection service. But during Tuesday night's meeting, one commissioner
fought to have that corrected. Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle made a motion for
several amendments to be added to the contract.

“Once the trash notices went
out, the following Monday the trash cans came out. We had approximately 3,000 of our residents receive new containers. So it shocked them and it caught me off guard,” says Guilfoyle.

5 other commissioners agreed with
Guilfoyle. The new contract will change the exemption from 300 feet to 200 feet
and also allow farms of 10 acres or more to use a private service. But other
commissioners wanted more changes — like switching the pickup service back to
two days a week.

“It's a poor disguise for a fee increase. What I mean by that is we are collecting garbage one day a week versus two and we are charging them the exact same amount. So in anybody's book that is an increase and
that's a problem,” says Commissioner Alvin Mason.

Mason and
several other commissioners promised that they would keep fighting to correct
the garbage problems. It's something Garrison is hopeful for.

“What are they going to do
next year? Tell us we got to go to Food Lion or Bi-Lo? We can't go to another grocery store?” says Garrison.

Another change made during the commission
meeting — if you are exempt from the service you no longer have to prove that
you are using a private trash collection service.

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