Changes underway with Macon recycling, garbage collection
In the first week of Macon-Bibb County's new solid waste collection reorganization, confusion was expected.
Schedules have changed, recycling is available everywhere and trash bin handles must face away from the road for automated trucks.
"We had made plans for some bumps in the transition," Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said Wednesday. "It's probably the biggest change in solid waste management in a long time."
The county did not anticipate that stickers to advise of the changes would not adhere to trash bins in the recent rains, so some people missed new pickup days this week.
Plus, there have been delays as county workers have been shadowing the private contractors until they are familiar with the new routes.
Those whose garbage was not picked up are encouraged to leave their full bins on the street, as extra runs will be made this week, Floore said.
Creatures of habit now have a new website to keep up with changes.
Residents can visit sw.maconbibb.us to find out which day trucks will run on their street.
The site includes information about what items can be recycled, allows for reporting of illegal dumping and gives information on how to organize a cleanup.
Also online, people can request new trash bins or recycling receptacles.
Monday, Advanced Disposal Services began picking up trash and containerized yard debris so that county workers could collect recyclables in all neighborhoods, operate the landfill and keep up with illegal dumping sites and large discarded items, such as couches and appliances, according to a release from Macon-Bibb County.
Under the county's contract with ADS, Bibb County's waste will be taken to the company's landfill and not the county dump, which must close in the next few years.
ADS's trucks require a 3-foot clearance around the bins to allow the automated arm to grab the container, hoist it up and load the waste into the top of the truck, instead of in the back of a vehicle like the county trucks.
If the handles are turned toward the street or if there is not enough room for the automation, workers will put sticke rs on the bins advising residents of the proper procedures.
The trucks only load from one side of the street at a time, so people already have called to complain that workers missed their house, not realizing the truck would be coming back up the street, Floore said.
The county trucks are only picking up recyclable items that will not go into the landfill.
New signs on the vehicles note the different mission.
The county and ADS are working to resolve any problems people are facing during the transition, said Kevin Barkley, solid waste director for Macon-Bibb County.
"We've got high hopes that the second week will go smoother because people will finally get the notice and see when their collection is," he said.
Anyone with questions about the new collection procedures or who is seeking a new recycling bin or garbage container should call the Solid Waste Department at 478-803-0499. Recycling bins and garbage containers will be distributed as people request them on the Macon-Bibb County website under 'See, Click, Fix' or also by calling Macon-Bibb customer service at 751-7400.
Telegraph writer Stanley Dunlap contributed to this report.