City waste pickup with new company with some changes in service

Published 10:31 pm Saturday, July 7, 2007

A change in waste pickup contracts for Picayune will provide residents with additional services while trying to provide better customer service.
During a special meeting of the Picayune City Council on June 29, the council voted to enter into a contract with Coastal Waste Services to collect city residential garbage rather than approving another contract with Waste Management. However, garbage and other waste collected by Coastal Waste will continue to be disposed of at the landfill owned and managed by Waste Management at Millard, said City Manager Ed Pinero.
Pinero said the change to a new company was prompted by Coastal Waste turning in the lowest bid.
The new contract will cause a $5 increase on residential bills, tot $19.35.t Pinero said there has not been a rate increase in about six years.
“The contracts were six years old and six years ago gas was 99 cents (a gallon),” Pinero said.
The increase was inevitable, even if the city had stayed with Waste Management the bill still would have increased to the same rate, Pinero said. However with the new contract green waste, such as small trees and limbs, will be picked up. With the previous waste hauler green waste pickup would have cost an additional $8 a month, Pinero said.
That new contract will include 96-gallon waste carts, or large garbage cans, also not provided by the last contractor. However residents got garbage bags under the old contract and that will no longer be the case.
The contract went into effect July 2, and carts should be delivered to customers’ homes by August 1, Gus Bordelon with Coastal Waste Services said.
Additional carts can be purchased for $65 from Coastal Waste if residents so choose. Provided and purchased carts will be maintained by Coastal Waste at no additional cost. In some cases, the repairs could be handled on site, since parts are carried on the truck, he said.
“We don’t want our residents dragging a broken can to the curb,” Bordelon said.
Each customer will be asked to use the carts, which will provide consistency across the city, however waste will be picked up no matter what container it’s in, Bordelon said.
“It’s really going to be a shot in the arm for Picayune. On collection day everybody’s can looks the same,” Bordelon said.
Pickup days will remain the same but there will be an additional day of garbage collection, Wednesday. Coastal Waste Services will take out an advertisement in the Picayune Item with specifics including debris pick up days and a map of pickup days for each area, Pinero said.
Bordelon said residents should expect their pickup days to remain the same initially. Changes concerning pickup days may need to be made in the future.
Carts should be placed curbside the night before since pickup will start around 6 a.m., Bordelon said. If for some reason a resident’s waste could not be picked up, such as the cart was too heavy, then a card will be left on the resident’s door stating the problem. Bordelon said the recommended full cart weight should be about 70 pounds. An average household generates about 48 pounds of waste a week, he said. Green waste should not exceed 12 inches in diameter, should not be longer than two feet and should not weigh more than 35 pounds.
“There’s no reason you can’t take the green waste as you go,” Bordelon said. “It’s just a cop out.”
White waste, or old appliances, will still be picked up under the new contract. Refrigerators will still be required to have all Freon professionally removed before disposal, Pinero said.
Residents who are concerned about what to do with existing cans will be happy to know they can now be used for their green debris in. While leaves will no longer be required to be bagged, they do need to be in a container, this is where old cans can come in, Bordelon said.
The company boasts it will provide a more pleasant customer experience by placing carts and cans back where the collection team found them and picking up loose articles of garbage as they work, Bordelon said.
“I have already seen a difference in the few days they’ve been in Picayune,” said council member Jerry Bounds.
A handicapped service is offered for elderly and handicapped citizens. To apply for the service residents need only a vehicle handicap tag or sticker.
Even though the contract deals with the residential side of the city, local businesses can have waste picked up by Coastal Waste. Bordelon said the company will provide businesses with either a dumpster or a cart, whichever best suits their needs.
The contract also states that Coastal Waste will provide Port-O-Lets for use at city functions, such as the street fairs.
Three trucks will run the routes and all crews will be under constant supervision, Bordelon said.
“We don’t want to just send our crews out here and forget about them,” Bordelon said.
Questions and concerns about the service can be directed to the company’s customer service center at 1-866-411-7687.
“Our goal is to take the city out of the garbage business,” Bordelon said.
Bordelon said residents can check out the company on the web at www.coastalwaste.com. He said he plans to post the new collection day coverage map on the site soon.
Mayor Greg Mitchell said testimonials of other cities who have waste pickup contracts with Coastal Waste have been positive and he believes the council has made a positive decision.
To dress up the carts, the city plans to work with the school district to see if they are interested in selling academic and social organization stickers for the carts to be used as fund raisers, Pinero said.