The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 13, 2013

County residents ask for increased garbage options

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— Four District 2 residents from East Limestone asked the Limestone County Commission to consider increasing garbage pickup options during Wednesday’s work session.

The residents said they wanted the county to provide more disposal alternatives, particularly for yard waste.

Commissioner Ben Harrison said the county’s garbage contract, which will be up for renewal in the spring, does not allow for yard waste to be collected.

“There needs to be a solution — I agree with (the residents) — and I would like to see it put into compost …” said Harrison, who added this option presented the problem of where to deposit the compost and how the site could be monitored.

County residents are currently allowed to dispose of 32 gallons or six bags of garbage for weekly pickup.

East Limestone resident Howard Rhodes suggested the county offer a free dump day at the transfer station on U.S. 72 on a monthly basis. Currently, the county foots the bill for one free dump day per year.

Chairman Stanley Menefee said expanding garbage services would require further discussion and a cost study before any action could be taken.

District 3 Commissioner Bill Latimer said picking up branches and other yard waste would require additional equipment.

“We couldn’t use a regular garbage truck,” Latimer said. “We’d have to get a big trailer with a gravel hook.”

District 1 Commissioner Gary Daly and District 2 Commissioner Steve Turner said other counties are providing the increased services, but at a strain to their budgets.

Turner said Madison County is shelling out about $30,000 a month to provide yard-waste pickup for residents. He said this would create a financial burden to Limestone’s budget, especially the commissioners’ district budgets that are earmarked for road construction and maintenance.

Turner offered to put the residents in contact with a private contractor that would remove yard waste.