The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

November 19, 2013

County clings to garbage policy

— Limestone County officials are sticking to the current garbage policy, despite requests from District 2 residents who are seeking assistance for yard waste disposal.

During Monday’s County Commission meeting, Chairman Stanley Menefee said garbage pickup through the county’s agreement with a private contractor does not go beyond household waste.

CCS Garbage Services, which is owned by Steve Gatlin, is contracted for weekly pickup of six garbage bags or containers not exceeding 32 gallons apiece, according to the county’s website. He is not obligated to collect yard, hazardous or medical waste.

“(Residents) can either contract with someone to come pick it up, or they can take it to the transfer station,” Menefee said. “Steve does a very good job, but it’s not his responsibility to pick those items up.”

Menefee said more garbage services would require more funding because of added expenses such as “equipment, personnel, fuel and tipping fees.”

“If we’re going to provided all these services, we’re going to have to change the tax structure,” he said. “And I can’t pick up for one district and leave the other three out.”

District 2 resident Becky Martin, who engaged in a calm exchange with the commission during the public comments portion of the meeting, said residents are asking for assistance but not necessarily extra services.

“What can we do to remedy this? Some of us don’t have pickup trucks …” said Martin, who lives in the Kingston Place subdivision. “We’re not asking you to give us something, we’re asking for help to deal with this. We’re asking for suggestions, maybe, or some type of relief.”

Commissioner Steve Turner reiterated an offer he made to other District 2 residents during last Wednesday’s work session. Turner told Martin he could provide her with the contact information for a private contractor that picks up yard waste. He also suggested that several residents could band together to negotiate a possible group rate.

Turner said the reason the commission is hesitant to allow residents the option of dropping off yard waste at the district sheds is that it could create a situation in which a contractor could profit from the arrangement. He said a contractor might charge a resident a pick-up and disposal fee and then drop items off at a county site.

Previously, District 4 Commissioner Ben Harrison said if the county provided a drop-off site, it would incur the cost of staffing and supervising it.

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