308 garbage letters going out in county

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 11, 2010

About 308 letters will be mailed to residents outside Vicksburg to determine how residential garbage is being disposed.

The latest letter-writing campaign by Warren County officials will ask whether households are paying the $1.25 surcharge tacked on to garbage bills that keep the county compliant with state mandated rubbish disposal laws. Residents may take trash to a landfill themselves or take it to a commercial receptacle with permission from the business owner. Otherwise, they’re supposed to have a contract with a private service provider.

Garbage firms can tap a fund the county maintains if customers don’t pay. The surcharge on all bills is supposed to keep the fund solvent, but has been insufficient for more than a year, leading supervisors to lend it money from its general revenue.

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A collections agency was hired in 2009 to round up payments from those in the county’s garbage database who supervisors say haven’t stayed current with monthly surcharges. Supervisors also haven’t ruled out hiring a mediator to hear disputes between customers and haulers. Such a position was used sparingly more than a decade ago and had operated independently of the Environmental Coordinator’s Office, which oversees compliance of the county’s garbage ordinance.