Supes to consider bid for new garbage truck

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The Lamar County Board of Supervisors is expected to consider accepting the bid for the new garbage truck that will provide automated pickup at its next meeting Jan. 18, County Administrator Joseph “Jody” Waits said earlier this week.

The board approved advertising for the 96-gallon garbage cans on Jan. 19, 2017, and they are expected to be distributed before the truck arrives, Waits said.

“The truck will take several months to arrive,” he said. “The cans would be distributed ahead of that, probably sometime in February.”

After a year of discussions about the garbage pickup, only one route will be tested with the new garbage cans and truck. Waits said earlier that the automated pickup would save the county $300,000 annually when the system is in place and added the county’s current trucks could use the new cans now.

The cans would be outfitted with computer chips that would make them traceable.

“They would be assigned by address, distributed to the address and logged in at the address,” Waits said. “They would belong to the address and they could be tracked to a system where you would know where they are if they’re lost.”

Homeowners would have the opportunity to buy another can if one was not

The plastic used to make the cans also is infused with a bitter-tasting element to discourage dogs, rats and opossums from disturbing them.

In April, Supervisors accepted the bid of lone bidder Cascade Engineering of Grand Rapids, Mich. The cost of the 15,000 cans, which will be gray, would be $45.90 each and will include an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) chip for tracking in each can in case it is lost or stolen.

In May, the board voted 3-2 to delay purchase of almost 5,000 curbside garbage cans. Board President Joe Bounds of District 3 – who voted to table the purchase along with Ward 1’s Steve Lampton and Ward 5’s Dale Lucus – said he didn’t “have enough information on where we are going in the long run here to make a decision.”

Later in May, Supervisors voted 4-1 to buy the cans and discussed using two garbage route for trial runs. However, the board decided later last year to cut the trial period back to one route.