Putnam waste disposal to increase as county is offered curbside service

By Shannon Sneed

First advising the county would soon see a possible $118,000 yearly increase in waste disposal charges, Jarrod Lovett, district manager for Advanced Disposal, offered Putnam County Commissioners the opportunity to “get out of the trash business” Dec. 1 with an offer to provide curbside service.

“We could provide a trashcan for every single house in this county for about $789,000 per year,” Lovett offered. “Keep in mind, you are spending $1.173 million and you’re going up to about $1.291 million with the increase.”

Explaining why the company was asking for the increase, Lovett said the charge was a reimbursement for dumping fees incurred after the closing of Putnam Bottoms landfill last summer.

After the closing of the landfill, 3,000 tons per year of inert material had to be dumped at a facility on Imperial Mill Road before being transported to a facility in Twiggs County.

The new charge is the company’s disposal cost to put the debris in the hole in the ground.

“You are on a fixed cost of $97,822 per month,” said Lovett. “So we’re incurring a dead cost.”

Provisions in the current contract Putnam County entered into with the company in 2006 allows for the increase to be effective immediately, but Lovett said they will likely wait to implement the change until the new year.

“What we have to do now is quantify that amount with staff and bring it back to you.”

Advanced Disposal currently operates 11 convenience centers for Putnam County with 523 man-hours per week, Lovett advised.

The company hauls about 5,000 tons of municipal solid waste, 6,000 tons of bulky waste (furniture and construction debris) and 3,000 tons of yard waste.

They also own and operate Curly’s Waste Disposal, charging around $98,000 a month, or $1.173 million a year, for the service.

Commissioner Kelvin Irvin asked County Manager Paul Van Haute why Putnam Bottoms was shut down.

“We would have had to spend over $250,000 to get recertified and re-permitted,” Van Haute said. “The EPD several years ago made a blanket decision to close or to regulate landfills out of existence.”

Irvin asked Lovett which company handles Greene County’s sanitation services.

Lovett noted Advanced Disposal provided curbside service for that county, which had been using that structure for 20 years, along with several surrounding counties.

“Nobody has an inert landfill anymore because of the liability,” he said.They (Greene County) have only one convenience center in the whole county, and you own 11.”

Advising the cheapest service by far is “the green boxes on the side of the road,” Lovett said, right now you are offering a Cadillac service at a Cadillac price.”

He advised operating the community disposal centers in a limited capacity and have citizens take their inert material to Oconee Sand and Gravel or Curly’s, where they would be charged a dumping fee.

Foster said a number of part-time residents and visitors to the county depended on the convenience centers, and curbside pickup may not benefit them.

“This would include convenience centers, maybe one per district,” said Lovett. “If we go with the increase at $1.291 million, divided by 6,000 homes, you will be spending $17.93 per home per month.”

Putnam County also has a lot of aesthetically pleasing neighborhoods that don’t want to see those cans down the road, Foster noted.

“Most of the litter we see is from the pick-up truck carrying their trash to the convenience center,” Lovett said, noting the company provides curbside pickup at Reynolds Plantation and several other lake communities.

Lovett said, if commissioners decide to implement the curbside waste service, Advanced Disposal would pick up the bulky waste so that the convenience centers could be closed.

“If you are leasing the land, you can give it back,” Lovett said.So, you’d be out of the business.”

**Editor's note: This article appeared on the front page of the Dec. 14, 2017 edition of The Eatonton Messenger.

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