The Union Recorder

December 4, 2013

County Commissioners air trash problems

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder


Advanced Disposal’s new area general manager Michael Cavan stepped into a trashy situation, according to the Baldwin County Commissioners.

Cavan’s introduction at the year’s final regular commission meeting was filled with various issues concerning curbside pickup and the convenience centers.

Commissioner Henry Craig, District 4, said even though the county convenience centers are refuse places “they still should be maintained as if someone had pride there.”

“The grass ought to be cut, the debris should be picked up and put in the container. It shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate for any length of time like it has in so many of the facilities,” Craig said. 

Debris flying out of trash trucks is another major sore spot.

“If the cover on the truck is broken, get it fixed rather than going on down the road and having the trash go out on our roads,” Craig said. “Take pride in our community and provide us the best service you can.”

Commission Chairman Sammy Hall, District 3, said though not all residents properly bag their household waste the drivers still need to close the top of the truck before driving on to the next location.

“On windy days, it doesn’t take much trash for it to blow out,” Hall said.

Open convenience centers with full dumpsters remain a county issue. 

“There is nowhere for anyone to put their trash. Somebody needs to make sure that if that center is open on Wednesday afternoon there ought to be a place for people to put trash. That has been a problem,” Hall said.

Cavan said one full-time employee overlooks all six county sites to determine where to send the unloading units.

Commissioner Johnny Westmoreland, District 5, said the Meriwether Road center never has room for limbs or other yard type waste.

“We have to have a place to put this stuff,” Westmoreland said. “My next door neighbor has already told me said he’ll go push the stuff off in (Advanced Disposal’s) yard.”

Westmoreland said sometimes commercial waste dumpsters make life worse for residents. The District 5 Commissioner also said he routinely sees roadside trash after weekly Herby Curby pickups.

“That seems to be one of the biggest gripes in this community now is trash,” he said.

Commissioner Emily Davis, District 1, is worried about curbside bulk waste “just out on the side of the street.”

The county doesn’t contract with Advanced Disposal for that service, but the board wants to look at future options there.

Discussions with Advanced Disposal’s former local general manager John Hipp about provisions for bulk item pickup didn’t happen. This was added to Cavan’s welcome to Baldwin County checklist as well.

“I don’t know what it’s been like in other communities, but this door to door pickup has been the most controversial issue I think Baldwin County has ever had that lasted this long. We thought after a year or so it would die down, but we are going on five years now,” Hall said. “I know you can’t solve all of that, but that’s why you see some of our frustration.”

• County building and property naming policy tabled until 2014

The Baldwin County Commissioners want a uniform policy for the naming or renaming of buildings and properties. The county has no written policy, code or ordinance in place as to how things are named or renamed. 

After longer than expected research and development by Craig and Davis, the local naming and renaming policy was presented a second time Tuesday.

Though she wouldn’t give any exact reason, Davis asked her fellow commissioners to delay the policy vote until next year.

“If you could share your concerns with us, that would be helpful,” Hall said.

When the policy proposal first came up during the Nov. 5 meeting, Davis said more research and community input should go into these types of policies.

According to the drafted policy presented, no building or property constructed, developed or acquired by the county will be assigned a name or renamed unless it falls within the policy and is approved by the commission. 

• Three Dollar Generals get alcohol licenses

Dollar General stores on North Columbia Street, Irwinton Road and Robins Drive were approved to sell beer and wine Tuesday.

As scheduled, the board won’t meet again until the next regular gathering on Jan. 7, 2014.