Commissioners call for cash penalties to be reinstated for trash haulers


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – With the Labor Day holiday affecting the schedule, Saturday was trash pickup day here in Montclair, however recycling did not get picked up again.

That’s leading to complaints and frustration for city leaders.

Montclair resident Becky Griffin has learned to look inside her trash can to make sure it’s empty before taking it back to the house.   

“They want us to take our cans off the street well we can’t take them off the street because they’re not empty for three of four days and it looks bad it looks really bad,” Grifin said.  

 And bad is what commissioners are hearing about trash service in certain parts of Augusta. 

 “It’s been disheartening a little bit lots of trash not picked up multiple issues it seems like we’re having a common occurrence every week in one part of district 7,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

The contracts with the garbage haulers call for cash penalties for things like missed pickups, or spills, these can add up to tens of thousands of dollars.

In June commissioners waived the fines because the haulers have issues with staffing due to the pandemic.

Also, a new trash company came on board. Now some commissioners want to reverse course and reinstate the penalties.

“It has become really apparent without having these liquidated damages back in place we have no teeth to really enforce what is expected out of these new carriers,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.

“We can’t sit by as commissioners and allow it to continue, we’ve got to make changes, and this is one change that we can make to hold them more accountable,” said Frantom.

Customers who want their garbage gone, on the day scheduled, believe paying a price for misses again could help.  

“Are you being shortchanged on garbage service is it as good as it should be?” 

 “No, it’s not if they’re going to pick up on Friday, pickup on Friday,” said Griffin.

The commission Engineering Services Committee will debate reinstating the damages at its meeting Tuesday.

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