Valdosta Daily Times

October 11, 2012

Veolia to offer curbside trash pickup for Lowndes residents

Jason Schaefer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Residents in unincorporated Lowndes County now have the option for curbside pickup of household garbage, yard waste, recyclables and bulky items for $13.05 per month, after the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners approved a waste contract with Veolia Environmental Services Tuesday.

The new program will begin Jan. 1, 2013. Veolia will pick up household solid waste once a week, and will pick up recycling and yard waste such as limbs and tree clippings every other week.

Veolia will also pick up bulky items like kitchen appliances on-demand every other week. Households are required to contact the service at least two days prior.

Each household will be provided a new 95-gallon solid waste disposal cart and a 65-gallon recycling cart. Residents can purchase an additional cart for solid waste for another $5.05 per month.

Veolia will provide backdoor residential solid waste collection service at no additional charge for those subscribers who are not physically able to take their carts to the curbside, provided there is no other occupant physically capable of moving the cart, according to Lowndes County.

Back-door pickup will not be available at distances of greater than 200 feet from the public roadway. Residents without a physical disability desiring backdoor pickup will be charged $20.95 per month, but the service will not include yard waste or on-call bulky item collection.

The curbside recycling service will replace county recycling centers. The final day of service for the centers is Jan. 7, 2013.

The county has been operating waste-collection services at a deficit of $400,000, according to County Clerk Paige Dukes. The user-fee based contract mandated by HB 489 will bring the county out of the red.

The service has pros and cons, said Keep Lowndes Valdosta Beautiful Executive Director Aaron Strickland. He is glad to see more recycling options available, but worries that residents who haul their own trash will engage in illegal dumping to save money, he said.

Services through Veolia will amount to roughly $156 per year, “a good deal,” Strickland said. But residents who opt to carry off their own trash for $100 per year will see an increase in their bill.

However, residents who pay for both the $100 for the disposal voucher and the roughly $45 quarterly for curbside household waste collection — which amounts to about $280 per year — will see a savings of about $124.

Still, if there is a spike in illegal dumping as a result of the new plan, Strickland predicts it

will level off eventually, he said.

“It’s just something that we’ll have to deal with,” Strickland said. “We try to promote anti-litter and recycling, and curbside pickup might encourage recycling.”