PTC to seek 'deals' with trash companies

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 2:57pm
By: John Munford

Peachtree City will now require trash haulers to enter into non-exclusive agreements to improve service and require recycling to be offered as part of a “regular” trash bill.

But a proposal to charge a $1 per quarter per resident fee on the companies has been withdrawn until a budget and plan can be in place for spending those funds.

Citizens will still have the right to choose any trash company they wish (or haul it off themselves), and those companies will continue setting their own fees, officials said.

The new amendment, passed tonight by the City Council, does not require residents to recycle. But it will force residents who don’t recycle to in essence pay for recycling. City Clerk Betsy Tyler noted that some trash providers in the city offer recycling as part of their base service at competitive rates when compared to those companies which don’t.

City officials had proposed the $1 per quarter fee be forwarded to the Keep Peachtree City Beautiful program to use for anti-litter and recycling education.

The fee drew resistance from several residents at Thursday night’s council meeting, including former City Councilman Jim Savage, who pointed to the anti-tax “TEA” party held in the city the previous day. He suggested the city make sure they knew how they were spending the money before adopting the fee.

Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett who proposed holding off on the fee until a budget for the fund is presented. At $1 per resident per quarter, the fee could raise approximately $40,000 a year, officials said.

“Maybe we need $2, maybe we need 50 cents,” Plunkett said.

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Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 9:43am.

This vote seems to have a lot of misunderstanding around it.

It is not recycling at an extra cost. There are already 3 companies offering the combined service at or below competitor costs. This simply brings all on board offering the service.

This is not a move toward a single provider or trash police. It is a step toward better service, a cleaner PTC and not filling up landfills so quickly.

This closes some gaps in protections and a few other areas for liability, spill clean up, etc., as regards trash service in PTC.

As for the $1, this is not a new expense on PTC. You are already paying for litter pickup, etc., but the costs are hidden and coming out of the General Budget.

In example, one landscaping workers job is to only pick up litter all week, every week. You are paying him.

Giving KPTCB funding allows them to provide more equipment to more volunteers picking up litter at no pay. That is a savings to you.

Putting out educational materials and seeing that $1 on every quarterly bill makes the litter and recycling issues, which do go hand in hand, more an in the face issue that hopefully will get people thinking about the consequences of littering, both financially and otherwise.

Littering is a growing issue. That means associated costs and complaints about how PTC looks are growing as well.

We have to do something to try to get people to stop and think before pitching those water bottles, gum and candy wrappers, cigarette butts and more.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by nusport on Tue, 04/21/2009 - 1:45pm.

If three companies are offering recycling services and “everyone” wants it couldn’t they freely change their service provider to a company that includes the service? When the city mandates that all trash hauling companies provide recycling receptacles at each address doesn’t that raise the cost of doing business? Can one truck fully service both regular refuse and recycling at the same time with the same number of trips or will this mandate force additional trucks? How is all of this covered by a $1 quarterly fee that goes to a non – profit with only one executive? Are you suggesting that the waste companies will not charge for the recycling bins or extra truck miles? You are raising the cost of doing business in the city, which will be passed on to the residents.

Children do not pay to have trash hauled and $1 is not a deterrent. What makes you think the youngsters that are doing “all” of the damage/littering will see that $1 and realize the errors of their ways?

I think you should bill each and every homeowner for the $1 and cost to collect so that PTC residents will not blame their trash hauling provider for the increase in their bill. Those that take their own trash to the dump should not be exempt from big brother’s policies. Their children could be the biggest polluters because they don’t want to fill up the trash can too quickly!

Submitted by Dondol on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 10:47am.

OK so let me get this straight, at the Councils direction these Private companies are going to have to charge an extra $1.00 on the quarterly bill and then pass this money along to the City for this fund who in turn passes it along to a private company. Who do you think is going to pay for the extra accounting cost that the prospective companies are going to accrue from this forced fee. Does Council think that these companies should just eat this cost for the privilege of doing business in PTC. Of course not they will pass the cost along to the consumers, just like the Airlines have to with all of the assorted fees that the Federal Government levees on them. What about the extra cost for city accounting also? Before long my 13.00 a month bill will be 18.00.

Obama's weapon of Choice!

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 11:32am.

It isn't blended into their monthly charge. It is suppose to be shown as a City charge above and beyond their charges. Not hidden and the companies are eating nothing.

I will reaffirm this needs to be shown on every bill to Staff.

There are already franchising fees. Standard everywhere. You have been paying it for years. So they already have a cost structure in place for collection and payment to PTC.

Companies do not just roll into cities and provide services. They have to meet legal standards and provide liability guarantees. State law.

KPTCB is a legally separate entity, but it is enabled by PTC ordinance. Kind of like Tourism, DAPC and WASA. It has saved a lot of money via volunteer work.

Which is going to do more to get people to stop littering and recycle more? Collecting the money this way or just funding it out of the General Budget, letting it be remain hidden? Either way we all pay.

Just funding such out of the budget has failed in the past. Litter keeps increasing.

We could end KPTCB, but that would take away the volunteers and access to Federal and State helps this group allows. There are Keep Beautiful groups in many cities, not just here. Google 'keep beautiful.'

This makes it more personal. If seen on a personal bill it tells everyone litter is directly costing them.

So, which way do you want to fund this effort and which do you think will do more to end littering? I am truly open to better ideas.

We cannot ignore litter. More and more litter is being tossed. More and more complaints are rolling into City Hall. We are spending more and more on what seems to be a loosing battle.

Every Council report showing hours spent on cleanup, vandalism repair and such makes me angry. Those numbers are not going down No excuse for any of it and it hurts all of our home budgets.

This is a failure of people, not government. It is an easily preventable problem. When people stop littering the problem, and the bills, goes away.

I am fully open to a better solution. This will be a cost on my trash bill as well, one I would gladly do without.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by Dondol on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 12:56pm.

Thanks for the quick answers, it clears up a lot of questions. One way to stop some of the littering is to find a way to lock the windows of the people traveling thru our city on 54 & 74. I will tell you that I see more kids littering than I do adults. With that said I think we should get that Indian with the tear on his cheek from the 70's to come back, seemed to work then.

Obama's weapon of Choice!

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 1:56pm.

Growing up in the 60's, my home state had a law that if seen littering on a highway the State Patrol would issue a ticket for littering, $150, or you could park your car, right there, any weather, and pick up the prior 1 mile of highway before being allowed to leave.

They had a lot of unmarked and minimally marked patrol cars.

I am sure that would never stand up in courts nowadays.

Our biggest problem is on the golf cart paths. Not only where the trash hits the ground but the shrubbery it blows into and under.

Yes, we understand youth is our largest source of litter, vandalism and graffiti.

Hidden surveillance cameras all over the place feels like a police state and requires review of the films to even begin to identify and act on litterers.

Other than changing peoples' attitudes and awareness, I am at a loss for a truly effective cure.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 8:30pm.

I know he existed. Every now and then I see him around town, but never in my neighborhood. Is there anything the City Council can do to force the Icecream man to be in my neighborhood at 7pm everynight. That would be great.

After reading this story I just felt that the City Council has a lot of free time on thier hands and I thought maybe they needed a project that matters.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 1:09pm.

Do you wear that dorky looking hat in real life? Puzzled

The only thing its missing are Goofy's ears. I'm just sayin...

Don't Spread My Wealth.... Spread My Work Ethic

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 1:34pm.

Its way to big.

Who says dorky anymore?

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 2:14pm.

Well Matt... Some of us old people whoop that one out from time to time for old times sake. You will do the same... truuuust meeee!!!

But I'll make you a deal... You keep your hat in the closet and I'll keep these clothes in mine. Cool

Don't Spread My Wealth.... Spread My Work Ethic

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 2:32pm.

Well alright Ol'timer.

--I will have to get me one of those suits.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 7:39pm.

On the other site, Git says he's only 32. But, I know better. Smiling
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

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