Should Mobile Privatize Garbage & Trash Pickup - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Should Mobile Privatize Garbage & Trash Pickup

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Mobile, AL -

The mayor and one of his councilmen are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the issue of privatizing garbage and trash pickup. Councilman John Williams believes in keeping government small, and privatizing will save the city a hefty sum.

"It has been in other cities of our size, a serious savings," says Williams.

Using those savings and putting them straight into the city's infrastructure. But the mayor argues, they're using the money from taxpayers wisely.

The city expects to see three new garbage trucks by the end of this month--all paid for by the one cent sales tax increase. And Mayor Sam Jones has said in the past he does not see privatizing the garbage collection as any benefit to the city in the long run.

And it seems the mayor has one vocal advocate.

"It would be the worst disaster in our city that we've ever seen," says Wesley Young.

Wesley Young is the president of the Public Service Workers of Mobile.

"The facts are it would take seven to nine million more dollars a year to contract garbage and trash out," adds Young.

Another valid point--Young estimates it would cost households $30 a month, whereas now the current taxes cover the charge. But Williams thinks he has a solution.

"I'm saying take the money we already have through our sales tax and other revenues and use that to purchase for our citizens a product that is dependable and costs less."

Despite these thwarts, Williams is fighting for the opportunity to explore what can be saved by taking the city out of the garbage business.

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