Phil Roberson, director of the Albany Public Works Department, told a group of people during City Commissioner Jon Howard’s Town Hall meeting Saturday about a proposed solid waste ordinance that was in the first stage of planning.
ALBANY, Ga. — Something’s gotta give. People either help find a better way to deal with junk or the cost of removal will go up and be passed on to residents, officials said this weekend.
Phil Roberson, Albany Public Works Department director, talked trash and its consequences at the 10 a.m. Saturday Ward I Town Hall hosted by City Commissioner Jon Howard on the 1700 block of East Oglethorpe Boulevard.
“We’re at $27 a month and we are trying to hold the rate flat,” Roberson said. “What drives the cost up is the illegal activity and dumping.”
Illegal activity such as illegal set outs, dumping commingled waste and junking mattresses and cars goes on in every area of the city, Roberson said, and it has to be cleaned up.
The cost of the clean up gets put on the people who fill their 90-gallon cans, cart them to the curb and pay their bills. Landlords who evict residents and put the contents of the apartment out on the sidewalk, an illegal set out, are getting away with the dumping, Roberson said.
Roberson added that people who dump a sofa and trash such as grass clippings and broken glass bottles together with plastic, paper and any other trash in a pile, known as commingling, generally aren’t held responsible.
One way to deal with the problem, Roberson said, is to charge an extra fee to pick up appliances, sofas and the dumped commingled trash. The bill for cleaning up that sort of solid waste would be billed separately on a Water Gas & Light Commission bill.
If it is not paid by the resident or the landlord, the power could be shut off by the WG&L Commission.
Other suggestions Roberson had for the new ordinance were setting up more recycling points in the city, having maybe a once a month a trash bin set out with an attendant for the items such as sofas to be collected.
Roberson said that at this point the solid waste ordinance committee, which includes Howard, is open to suggestions, comments and conversation about what the ordinance should cover.
More town halls and public hearings are planned in the process of writing and adopting, or rejecting, the solid waste ordinance, Roberson said. He and elected officials want to hear from residents, he added.
The main Public Works building sits at 1900 N. Monroe St. Mary Lodge is the customer service representative and Roberson can be reached through her at (229) 883-6950 ext. 6302.