County looks to privatize part of its solid waste operation
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With the county’s fourth manned solid waste dumpster site on Ridge Road now being open and operational, the Grady County Commission this week authorized the issuance of a request for proposals to privatize the garbage collection from these four locations.
According to county officials, until all of the unmanned sites are closed, the county will continue to collect the garbage and clean those sites.
The county’s road superintendent, Stanley Elkins, who also serves as the county’s solid waste director, said Tuesday night that either the county would partially privatize its solid waste operation or would have to budget for the purchase of a $250,000-$300,000 garbage truck in 2021.
The county’s four manned sites include 20th Street – 40 cans; Beck Branch – 25 cans; Hilltop – 34 cans; and Ridge Road – 38 cans.
Elkins is recommending requiring potential bidders to empty the containers at each site three times per week including on the day before and after weekends and holidays.
The road superintendent is also suggesting prospective vendors place two roll off containers at each site for disposal of white goods.
According to Elkins, the county will remain responsible for cleaning up or removing scrap tires left at dumpster sites.
“We are still looking for somewhere to put a manned site in or near Whigham. We just haven’t found anyone that wants to donate or sell us a couple acres at a reasonable price. Ultimately, we have said we want to have a total of seven manned sites,” Grady County’s administrator, J.C. (Buddy) Johnson, said.
“I’ve received a lot of positive comments on our manned sites,” Commission Vice Chairman Phillip Drew said.
“You don’t build them for nothing either,” Commissioner Ray Prince added.
Vice Chairman Drew also acknowledged that closure of unmanned sites was an inconvenience, but he said it was a “necessary evil.”
“The people want Grady County to look clean and we do, too,” Drew added.
The vice chairman echoed comments by Johnson complimenting Elkins and his crew for the work they do. “Yes, thank you Stanley,” Commissioner June Knight said.
Commissioner Knight also questioned what happen to the possibility of instituting individual household collection. Administrator Johnson said that a viable option is offered by a private firm, but the county would not mandate it. “It’s still available and a very attractive offer,” Johnson said.