Things to know - SWA curbside pickup
A question and answer with Solid Waste Authority Chair Wayne Haynie
With a pending agreement between Newton County and Advance Disposal, Inc. for a curbside pickup contract in unincorporated Newton County, we sat down with the Solid Waste Authority Chair Wayne Haynie to have him answer some frequently asked questions about the change.
Q: Why is the county moving away from the 11 convenience centers for municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal?
A: Lack of waste fees collected at the landfill and the cost of operating the centers became a financial detriment to the tax payers of Newton County as the volume of waste has grown.
Breaking the question down further, here is a three-pronged explanation: 1) Throughout the years, the county has not recovered the cost of operation of the convenience centers, including the hauling of MSW, metals, tires, recycling and bulk waste to the landfill. Also, there were no fees collected at the landfill for disposal of the waste from the convenience centers. 2) As our population has grown, the volume of MSW has overwhelmed the convenience centers and the county’s annual budget for hauling the waste to the landfill. 3) During this time, operations at the landfill suffered as revenues from other disposal activities did not cover the operation and maintenance costs of the landfill for handling the volume of Convenience Center waste coming in to the landfill.
Q: What changes should a customer expect if the county switches from the 11 Convenience Centers to curbside pickup?
A: Over time, the Convenience Centers will be phased out for collection of MSW. The SWA is investigating the centers for future limited use as recycling drop-off or other types of disposal.
Waste haulers will pick up garbage at the street once per week. Each customer will be billed for the service, either monthly or quarterly. For a modest upcharge, large items can be picked up at the same time.
Q: For those who already use curbside pickup, what might change?
A: For unincorporated Newton County residences, very little. The billing address for your waste hauler may change.
Q: Why choose Advance Disposal Services, Inc. (ADS)?
A: A solicitation for services was publicly advertised seeking proposals and pricing from contractors and was available to all hauling companies. ADS was selected for further contract negotiation after a two-step process involving review of qualifications and price. Their written proposal and project understanding demonstrated that they understood our issues and offered the widest range of services responsive to Newton County’s needs.
Q: What services will Advance Disposal Services, Inc. (ADS) make available?
A: Currently, their proposed contract includes one-day per week curbside pickup of municipal solid waste and bulk waste. ADS will assume operation of our convenience centers until expiration of the car hang tag permits expire.
Q: Will Advance Disposal Services, Inc. (ADS) provide and maintain compactors, trucks and other equipment:
A: As appropriate and as our budgeted funds allow their contract includes cost to provide those services. Newton County will assist with waste hauling and other services.
Q: What about recycling?
A: Recycling is being considered for a modest upcharge to all customers. We will gauge whether our customers are willing to pay this small amount for curbside recycling to occur on a separate day from municipal solid waste pickup. The frequency may be once-per two-weeks, as opposed to weekly. If our customers cannot support the curbside recycling efforts, the Solid Waste Authority will look for other avenues to continue our recycling efforts.
Q: If I live in one of Covington’s municipalities will my collection coverage change?
A: No; this contract covers unincorporated Newton County areas.
Q: What will be the cost?
A: Curbside pick-up of MSW will cost users (customers) a range between $18 and $20 per month, per household, depending on the recycling adder. Items carried directly to the landfill will be priced the same as currently, $36 per ton for commercial loads.
Q: What about collectors already serving Newton County?
A: Existing curbside haulers have been asked by ADS, the Prime Contractor, to partner with ADS as a subcontractor. There are numerous benefits to each local curbside hauler to join the team.
Q: (For existing haulers): If I sign on as a sub-contractor to Advance Disposal Services, Inc. (ADS) how will my share of the business change?
A: ADS will strive to keep customer levels at or near existing customer counts.
ADS will organize the county into geographical territories. Your coverage in miles may drop and you may receive more customers as we grow.
As customers migrate from Convenience Centers, that growth will be distributed amongst fleet and ADS will self-perform a share of the work. As customer density grows, haulers will increase business in the dense territories. That will be the best way to increase hauling business in Newton County.
ADS essentially covers the marketing cost for growth. The SWA takes over the customer billing; all sub-haulers get paid once per month from ADS. No more non-payment issues and ADS will assume much more of haulers’ overhead and risk.