Henagar takes over own garbage pickup

The city of Henagar expects to have their sanitation program up and running by Oct. 1 to prevent residents from being billed another cycle with ADSI.

The city of Henagar will soon take over its residents’ garbage pickup.

During Monday’s meeting, the Henagar City Council approved the purchase of two garbage trucks and new garbage cans to begin the process of starting their own, local sanitation program.

In June, the DeKalb County Commission voted to join in a new contract for garbage pickup by switching from Advance Disposal (EC Waste) to Arrow Disposal Service, Inc. Since the change, some cities have begun looking at different options for their residents.

Henagar Mayor Lee Davis said he’s had an idea for a program in Henagar for a few years, but the opportunity finally arose for him to discuss it with the other councilmembers.

“I’ve been looking at it for two years, even before I presented it to the council,” he said. “I wanted to see what all it involved and whether it would even be feasible to do or not.”

Lee said the biggest reason for looking at a change, was to allow residents’ problems to be solved in the city, by the city.

“I think Arrow will do a good job with the county when they get all the kinks worked out, but my personal issues that I hear from residents is every three or so years we change [contractors], and the last contractor we had was EC Waste,” he said. “I got tons and tons of phone calls and complaints, and there was nothing I could do about it. I got all their complaints, but I couldn't fix their problems. That’s why I really started looking at doing our own sanitation. So, if Henagar residents have a problem, when they call, we can get those problems resolved quickly.”

Davis said he also spoke with other cities in the county that handle their own sanitation to get an idea of the process and the costs involved.

This week, the council unanimously agreed to purchase one new automated side-loader garbage truck and one used automated side-loader garbage truck and 1,500 new cans. The total cost of the equipment is approximately $350,000, and the city will also hire two drivers, Davis said.

Although the city has already started the process of switching over, Davis said it won’t go into effect until the fall. Many residents have already paid the first quarterly billing cycle with ADSI, and it will also give the city time to ensure the transition is smooth. The city expects to take over pickup on October 1.

“I wanted to make sure we had all of our i’s dotted and the t’s crossed,” he said.

Davis said the city will send letters to the residents of Henagar in the coming months that will instruct them on signing up for the new program.

Currently, a monthly and quarterly billing cost has not been set, but the cost will not exceed the approximate $18 that was already set with ADSI. The city hopes that staying at $18 will allow them to offer low or fixed income residents with a discounted bill, he said

“All of those details are not worked out completely yet, but that’s something we’re looking at,” he said. “If we're going to offer that, then we’re probably going to have to stay around $18 a month, which is what everyone around us is charging. That number works out to be something that is workable for us in our budget to where we're still be able to help our low income citizens.”

The mayor’s also gotten many questions of if they will pick up peoples’ garbage in surrounding areas, but Henagar cannot legally take on customers outside the city limits, he said.

For more information on the upcoming change for Henagar residents, visit the city’s Facebook at @cityofhenagar, email at cityofhenagar@farmerstel.com or call city hall at 256-657-6282.

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