On November 17, the Macon-Bibb County Commission approved the expansion and standardization of recycling and yard waste pickup and realignment of garbage pickup services. Beginning January 4, 2016, the following services will be offered:
- Every home will have the opportunity to have curbside single stream recycling, something that many residents have been requesting for several years;
- Yard waste will be picked up from every home on a weekly basis, something that is not currently offered in all areas of the county but is desperately needed, especially during the spring and summer months; and
- All residential garbage collection will be managed by one organization, which improves efficiency, a promise of consolidation.
The fee for all residents of Macon-Bibb County will increase to $20 per month, and that will be reflected on the bill people will receive in January 2016. This decision came after several meetings with the Commission and community stakeholders, and is part of the Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan approved in June 2015.
“This is a monumental step forward in our efforts to clean up our entire community and begin closing an outdated and environmentally dangerous landfill,” says Kevin Barkley, Director of the Solid Waste Department. “In 2014, we collected almost 2.4 million pounds of recyclable materials, and with more homes having much larger recycling containers, we expect that number to get much larger.”
“Our community deserves and has asked for more recycling, as well as quality waste and garbage services. In fact, they stated clearly when they voted for consolidation that they wanted a more efficient government that better meets their needs,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert. “With this decision, we stop kicking the can down the road on providing better services and closing the landfill.”
This realignment of services will allow Macon-Bibb County to offer single stream recycling to the entire county; it’s currently only offered in the former unincorporated area and to 2,000 homes in the former city. It will also allow Macon-Bibb to focus on other beautification efforts such as removing illegal dumps, picking up large debris like couches, and supporting neighborhood cleanups. With ADS picking up residential garbage, that material will now be taken to its landfill, and not the Macon-Bibb County landfill, which is mandated to close in fewer than five years.
Macon-Bibb County recently purchased about 1,700 65-gallon recycling containers to begin expanding the program. This will allow those people who want to actively recycle to get one of the first cans. Once these are distributed, Macon-Bibb will make a determination on how many need to be ordered, based on requests.
To request a container and begin receiving recycling services, use the SeeClickFix app on your smart phone (it’s a free download) or online by clicking here, or you can call Customer Service at 478-751-7400.
Yard waste pickup expansion
ADS, on a weekly basis, will pick up yard waste in containers, such as trash cans or bags, up to two cubic yards from all residents in Macon-Bibb County. (Currently, ADS only picks up yard waste on a every other week.) The Solid Waste Department, on a weekly basis, will pick up the bulk waste up to two cubic yards, such as piles of limbs no greater than four feet in length and four inches in diameter, furniture, toys, etc.
Illegal dumping is an often stated issue in our neighborhoods, and the Solid Waste Department works diligently to remove them once reported. With the new alignment of services, personnel and equipment in the Solid Waste Department that previously picked up residential garbage can now be used to remove this blight from our neighborhoods.
To report an illegal dump, you can use the SeeClickFix the SeeClickFix app on your smart phone (it’s a free download) or online by clicking here, or you can call Customer Service at 478-751-7400. It should also be reported to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.
With the realignment of services, Solid Waste Department equipment and personnel can do more to support neighborhood cleanups. This includes delivering and emptying large trash containers requested by neighborhoods. To host a cleanup and learn about the resources and support the Solid Waste Department can provide, call 803-0499.
Beginning in January, there will be new routes and pickup days, and when those are determined, they will be announced and published on our website at www.maconbibb.us. Macon-Bibb County is currently distributing almost 2,000 new rolling garbage containers to help make sure everyone who needs a container has one.
About the Solid Waste Management Plan
A new Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan, as required by the State of Georgia, was approved in June 2015 by the Macon-Bibb County Commission. It was developed after several months of review of the current delivery of services, identification of areas needing improvement and areas where Macon-Bibb needed to grow, and discussions with Commissioners.
A Work Session with the Commission to discuss the new Plan was held on April 28, and it was approved by the Facilities and Engineering Committee on May 26 and the full Commission on June 2. The Plan includes the expansion of recycling to all residents, offering the same solid waste collection service to all residents, ensuring the convenient and adequate collection of solid waste, standardize service and billing, building facilities to manage recycling and transfer of solid waste, and more.
Two additional meetings were held with the Commission regarding the current state of our our landfill and services, including years of failing scores, inequity in services and costs, and the closure of the inert landfill. It was recognized there was a state of crisis occurring with the services, necessitating immediate action in certain areas and changes to delivery. Our partnership and work with ADS allowed us to make the necessary changes that would allow us to expand our services, divert material from the landfill, and standardize services and billing.