Vicksburg’s Waste Management costs skyrocket by more than $50,000

Published 4:33 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

The City of Vicksburg’s cost of collecting garbage in Vicksburg has increased by more than $50,000.

According to information from the city’s accounting department, the city paid Waste Management $149,508.49 for trash collection in June. It paid the company $209,355.90 for trash collection in July, when the city’s new contract went into effect — a difference of $59,847.41.

But the individual cost of collection — how much a homeowner will eventually pay to have their household garbage and trash removed, remains undetermined.

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said presently homeowners pay $16.50 — “for now” — for garbage collection and an additional $25.50 per can if they have more than one can. The initial charge was $16.95 per can.

Flaggs said the board has not set a final individual cost, and will not until city officials have a correct inventory of city garbage cans.

“Right now, we’re trying to reconcile between the number of cans we’re billing for and the number of cans they’re collecting,” he said. “Waste Management is saying that they are collecting X-number of cans and we’re saying we’re only billing for X-number of cans. Somewhere, we’ve got to net zero that.”

Flaggs at a June board meeting said some residents were using more than one can to hold garbage. The board at its Monday meeting released a policy allowing residential customers to have up to two city-issued cans — one green and one brown— and added that Waste Management would only collect garbage from the city-marked cans.

“All the containers under this administration will be logged in at Water and Gas and they will be delivered by Vicksburg Community Service,” Flaggs said Monday. “We believe that when we adopt this policy we ought to be in good shape and we’re only waiting on the brown cans; there’s no need to put out all the cans until we get all the cans.”

He said once the new cans arrive, they would be distributed and the old cans collected.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen in June approved the new contract with Waste Management that featured some major increases in fees over the previous contract, including a cost to collect yard debris and other items too large to fit in the city-issued garbage can.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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