Politics & Government

Macon-Bibb seeks new trash cans to meet demand

Are you missing a garbage cart or recycle bin? And do you live within the boundaries of the old Macon city limits?

If so, it looks like help may be on the way. The Macon-Bibb County government is likely to buy 1,300 more wheeled, lidded garbage carts along with 199 recycle bins.

That’s enough to catch up with all requests submitted through SeeClickFix, said Kevin Barkley, Solid Waste Department director. All will be stamped with the new Macon-Bibb seal.

Macon-Bibb spokesman Chris Floore said the big purchase doesn’t reflect a surge in requests.

“We’ve had a backlog for a while and never seemed to be able to catch up,” he said. “We got quite a few right after consolidation (January 2014), but it only got us started.”

Demand remains relatively steady, Barkley said. The new carts and bins go to residents who have asked for new containers to replace ones which have disappeared or been irreparably damaged, as well as to new customers of the Solid Waste Department, he said.

If final approval is granted, they will be bought for $84,989.89 from Statesville, North Carolina-based Toter Inc., according to a resolution which cleared the Operations & Finance Committee this week by a unanimous vote. It’s headed for a final vote by the full commission Dec. 9, and passage is extremely likely.

The containers will remain the property of Macon-Bibb County, so residents aren’t charged extra for them, Barkley said.

Macon-Bibb has bought from Toter in the past, but the new batch would not go through the regular bid process. Instead, the government would take advantage of a cooperative agreement for discounts through the National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance.

“This is a national purchasing contract that has been bid nationally,” Barkley said. “This allows Macon Bibb to take advantage of national competition for the cost of garbage and recycling carts. Toter manufactures a very well built and durable cart.”

The new ones will only go to residents in the boundaries of the former city limits, since garbage collection is still split. Public employees handle the task within Macon’s old limits, while Advanced Disposal does the same throughout the former unincorporated area of Bibb County. Advanced fields any requests for new carts in its territory, Barkley said.

The contract with Advanced is a holdover from Bibb County government. When the city and county merged 11 months ago, officials briefly discussed whether to extend the city’s service countywide or privatize all garbage collection. Mayor Robert Reichert argued successfully that the two services should run in tandem for a year after consolidation, then be compared for efficiency and service.