County to use single hauler to pick up residential garbage

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Garbage pickup outside Vicksburg will be handled by a single hauler by midsummer, as supervisors pledged Tuesday to ask for proposals that would scrap a decades-old system of corporate haulers and family-run operations.

A formal request to have one entity pick up residential and commercial garbage is expected to pass without argument during the next formal board meeting Monday. Supervisors expect a cheaper monthly or quarterly bill for most customers, based on recent talks with Waste Management officials, who said they would charge between $14 and $16 a month for county residents. The company charges between $22 and $27 a month for county residents under the county’s current arrangement. Residential garbage rates were to be $17.50 inside the city this month.

Whoever wins a competitive bid will bill customers directly, the same as now, under a contract likely to last five years, officials said. Holds are placed on car tag renewals for people who have delinquent garbage accounts. Past debts from individuals arose from people who move and don’t report it to their garbage hauler, among numerous other situations. Late surcharge payments from haulers sometimes approached $4,000 in recent years and prompted the county board to pull a permit until it was paid.

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Private haulers include Billy Drake, John Hatchett and Oscar Mayfield.

In April, Hatchett retired, and supervisors said his clientele, about 175 customers, will be picked up by Waste Management.

The $1.25 surcharge is added to bills to fund the county’s environmental office, which in turn tracks the number of paying customers to keep the county compliant with rubbish disposal mandates from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

About 6,500 people in non-municipal Warren County have garbage disposed of by legal means or picked up regularly by three permitted family-run operations and three corporate haulers, according to totals at the end of 2011. Waste Management has the largest clientele, with about 4,800 customers. The other permitted companies are Earth Friends Environmental Services and Waste Pro of Mississippi. Totals included 1,002 who report legal disposal of their garbage, most commonly by taking it to a commercial receptacle with permission from its owner. Another 970 structures are vacant, figures showed.

This month’s rate fall inside the city was approved because enough debt had been cut in the solid waste fund, according to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.