The debate over how Macon’s garbage, recycling and yard debris are picked up may be nearing an end.
A County Commission committee voted Tuesday in support of having contractor Advanced Disposal take over all garbage and recycling pickup while the county would handle all yard debris and bulkier items. Several commissioners said they hope the changes would resolve some of the issues residents have had with collections this year.
The final vote on the changes is scheduled for next week.
The current setup has Advanced picking up garbage and two cubic yards of yard debris. The Macon-Bibb Solid Waste Department collects recycling, remaining yard waste and bulkier items like mattresses.
“You are cleaning up what I think was one of the key focuses of our relationship — the bulk and our yard waste,” Commissioner Virgil Watkins said. “Two cubic yards scenario was creating a burden. With an investment of time … and capital improvements we’re able to solve our problem.”
Advanced and the Solid Waste Department have been in limbo waiting on county officials to decide if the company would take more control over collections, County Manager Keith Moffett said.
There would be five new employees hired by the county and an initial $50,000 spent to repair some of the trucks.
The Solid Waste budget already has money to hire the five new employees needed for the changes that could go into effect in late October. In the near future, the county will need to lease or begin buying new vehicles — at about $250,000 a piece — to replace an aging fleet, Moffett said.
“We’ll put together a game plan, and (Advanced is) committed with helping us getting this going,” Moffett said. “It will take a little bit of a transition period.”
As part of the proposal, Advanced’s “per unit” rate it gets from the county would go from $11.44 to $12.03. There are 50,500 units in the county, according to the measure.
Commissioners Valerie Wynn and Mallory Jones said they had concerns about how quickly the transition could be implemented. They said the best solution is for Advanced to handle all solid waste collections.
“I think if we can get ADS to do everything ... there won’t be that confusion,” Wynn said. “It will be done, and people won’t be calling us.”