Four to six crews will begin distributing 35,000 new trash and recycling carts throughout the county starting Jan. 2, from staging areas in Guyton and Springfield, the company’s Ben Wall Jr. told county commissioners in a Dec. 12 workshop.
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He said about 1,300 carts will be distributed each day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with a completion target date of Feb. 1.
The carts cannot be used until Atlantic Waste starts picking up trash in Effingham on Monday, Feb. 19.
Current provider Republic Waste’s last pickup day is Friday, Feb. 16.
Commissioners were concerned that people would start using the new carts as soon as they get them.
“People are going to put stuff in them,” said commission Chairman Wesley Corbitt. “The garbage is going to smell.”
Commissioners discussed a variety of ways to tell the public that they can’t use the new carts until Atlantic Waste begins service Feb. 19.
Wall said he’ll look into a way to seal the new carts with tape that says they can’t be used until then.
Wall said Atlantic trucks will not pick up Republic bins and vice versa.
Republic will have a company follow behind its trash trucks on its final routes in February and pick up the Republic trash and recycling bins, according to county Administrator Steve Davis.
Wall thanked commissioners for the opportunity to take over the contract and said he was excited. “It’s kind of the dog that caught the car,” he said. “We’ve caught it and now we’re starting to chew on it.”
Wall told commissioners that new garbage trucks are scheduled to arrive over the next few weeks. He said rental trucks are on standby in case of problems.
Drivers will begin test runs the last week of January to learn the routes, Wall said. The trucks will have signs on both sides saying they are on training runs and that pickup service begins Feb. 19.
Wall and commissioners discussed what information would be included in a flier that goes to new customers, including maps of routes and pickup days.
Wall said the new routes and schedules had not yet been completed but will be done soon. Most customers will have the same pickup days they had previously, he said.
Customers with problems will be able to go to atlantic-waste.com, call 964-2000 or go to an Atlantic Waste Effingham County Facebook page. There will be a phone and text notification system that will tell customers about changes in pickup schedules due to holidays or bad weather.
Wall said the company has software that logs customer complaints and tracks resolutions and how fast problems are solved. He also said the trucks have GPS tracking so the drivers are accountable.
Atlantic Waste is hiring and is taking part in a job fair along with Effingham County from 3:30-6:30 p.m. today at the Effingham administrative offices, 601 N. Laurel St., Springfield.