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story.lead_photo.caption The Garland County Court House. - File photo by The Sentinel-Record

One contractor will begin collecting all of the household garbage in unincorporated Garland County beginning Thursday.

The contract the county awarded in July to Town and Country Sanitation Inc. takes effect Thursday, making the local hauler responsible for weekly collection of more than 20,000 residential and commercial trash carts. It's been servicing the northwest half of the county since the county began residential collection in the late 1990s.

Owner Tim Efird said Monday that collection dates shouldn't change.

"Most people's will probably be picked up later in the day than they're used, but as long as they have it out by 6 a.m. we shouldn't miss anyone," he said. "The time of the day will fluctuate, but the days themselves, we'll try to do our best to keep them on the same day."

The contract doesn't allow carts to be collected prior to 6 a.m.

Efird said all household trash must be in a tied garbage bag to prevent loose items from scattering when the lifting arm empties carts into the compactor.

"The reason for that is if the wind is blowing any loose paper or tissue will blow all over your yard when the lid is turned upside down," he said.

Carts near mailboxes or fences can't be accessed by the lifting arm, he said, explaining that 3 feet of clearance is needed on all four sides of the cart. Efird said customers can call Town and Country at 760-2298 if they have any questions.

Suburban Sanitation Inc. of Hot Springs and SLM Sanitation Inc. of Bonnerdale hold the contracts for the county's other two sanitation zones. According to a cart audit the county contracted in 2018, the two zones comprise about 6,400 and 7,700 carts. They submitted bids to continue servicing the respective zones they were awarded in 2014 but didn't submit bids for countywide service.

Town and Country and JM Bozeman LLC of Hot Springs were the only haulers that bid on countywide collection, bidding $9.45 and $10.75, respectively, per cart, per month. Town and Country's $9.45 bid is about 10% lower than the $10.47 the county pays on average to its three current contract haulers.

County Judge Darryl Mahoney told justices of the peace last year that Town and Country's bid should keep customer rates constant for the entirety of the seven-year agreement, even with an annual Consumer Price Index-based adjustment. The Garland County Quorum Court appropriated $2.6 million from the solid waste fund for 2020 contractor collection fees, down from the $3.2 million budgeted for 2019.

The county bills customers $16.50 a month, with the difference between its rate and the contractor's rate paying the county's billing and cart maintenance costs. It also subsidizes the transporting of solid waste to the Class 1 landfill in Saline County. The county's Cedar Glades Landfill is a Class 4 facility permitted for construction and demolition debris, furniture and other bulky items. All household garbage goes to the Saline County Regional Solid Waste Landfill in Bauxite.

Efird said he purchased a fleet of 2020 Freightliners after being awarded the countywide contract. After bid price, proposed equipment was the most weighted factor in the bidding analysis the county used to rank contractors.

Local on 01/14/2020

Print Headline: Hauler ready to start countywide garbage collection

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