Supervisors meet with waste haulers to discuss countywide service

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Pearl River County may have countywide garbage pickup in its future. But, it could be months or even years before it comes to fruition.

The Board of Supervisors held a workshop with some of the county’s independent garbage haulers Monday afternoon on the subject.

“This has been brought up for years,” said Board President Sandy Kane Smith. “Constituents are asking. This is the first of many meetings and we want the input.”

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District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday spearheaded the session, and stood down from the Board’s dais to be closer to the business owners who came to speak and listen.

The major concern of the haulers was the potential of either losing the customer base they have built up over the years or being put out of business entirely.

“We want to clean this county up,” Holliday said. “It’s important because of economic development. They see garbage on the roads and it doesn’t play well.”

Holliday wanted to put the local business owners at ease about any new garbage pickup plan.

“We don’t want to hurt the working people out there hauling garbage,” he said. “If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t have made the effort to invite you here.”

“We’re trying to make it better and work for all of us,” Holliday added. “We don’t have the answers. We can solve this problem, but you have to know what all the options are to do that. It’s a problem we have got to address.”

Holliday said the garbage haulers in many respects are “stumbling all over each other” to get to their customers in various areas.

“The goal is to fix this and for you make money easier. How we get there is the issue. But, that’s the goal.”

Holliday said one idea might be letting each hauler serve an individual district.

“Can we get there or not? I don’t know. This is just trying to find a way to make sense,” Holliday said. “This is going to take some time to sort out. We want to eliminate your fears that we want to put you out of business.”

County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin said he has been involved in the discussions on the subject held during previous years and “the last thing the county wants to do is contract out and hurt our local businesses.”

“We need you all. We need to figure out how to make you part of the solution,” Lumpkin told the haulers. “If we are going to institute something, we need your input. What can we implement to make it easier and more profitable for you?”

There was agreement of the need for more education concerning litter, especially starting with the younger generation.

“We have to change our culture,” Smith said.” We have to start with the kids.”