Emergency measures taken to tackle garbage issue

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With Red River Waste Solutions in bankruptcy and no longer providing garbage pickup services in Carroll County and garbage piling up on curbsides around the county, members of the Carroll County Solid Waste Committee gathered in an emergency session on Friday to address the situation.

Also at that meeting were Chad Brown and Jeremy Keith, representatives with Republic Waste Management, the company that provided garbage pickup services for the county for many years before the county switched to Red River back in 2019.

Brown and Keith said that their company would be willing to jump in and take over pickup services for the county, and they made an offer of $19.28 per household per month on a five-year contract.

Committee members questioned this price, which is considerably higher than the $13.23 per household that Red River was charging the county and what Republic was charging back in 2019.

“To start this contract will take a lot of capital up front,” said Brown, who pointed out that operating costs are significantly higher than they were two years ago, and he added that, initially, they might have to bring in drivers from other areas and use rental trucks. “We want to work with the county and help, but on the flip side, we’ve got to look to our own interests.”

But as county attorney Robert Keeton II explained, Red River’s bankruptcy filing under Chapter 11 has put the county in a predicament. Keeton said the county is still in a contract with Red River, and until the bankruptcy court, which is in Texas, releases the county from that contract, they can’t officially enter into a long-term contract with Republic.

It was suggested that the county and Republic might enter into a temporary 90-day agreement with an understanding that the county intends to sign a five-year contract with Republic as soon as the court frees the county from any ties to Red River.

Brown and Keith said they were not opposed to this, though they would have to get approval from their bosses.

After more discussion, committee members voted unanimously to enter into a 90-day agreement with Republic if approved by company owners.

Committee members questioned Brown and Keith regarding how soon they could get started. Brown said they could get one truck and driver on the road within the next few days, but it would probably take one driver a couple of weeks to get to all the residences on county service routes.

Carroll County Director of Solid Waste Jeff Heyduck said that residents in the southwestern portion of the county in the Yuma and Natchez Trace areas should be served first since it has been around three weeks since their garbage has been picked up.

In an interview earlier on Friday, county resident Pat Kelley, who lives on Highway 77 near the Mixie Community, said it has been around two weeks since her garbage has been picked up.

“Nobody’s happy about it, for sure,” said Kelley. “It’s really getting to be a problem.”

According to Kelley, Red River had been coming for her garbage every Friday, but even before they stopped service altogether, she noticed that they were becoming inconsistent regarding their pickup days.

“It’s a mess,” she said.

During the committee meeting, Heyduck pointed out that customers can bring their garbage to the Recycling Center on Highway 77 on Saturdays, though he added that they do not accept paint products or other liquid waste.

No decision regarding customer fees had been made as of press time Monday.

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