Jefferson County neighbors frustrated over garbage service change

Local News

UPDATE 4/3/2021: Many neighbors reported receiving the new waste bins over the past few days, including Andrea Hill.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Some neighbors living in Jefferson County are currently without a trash bin and frustrated over communication regarding a transition in garbage services.

According to Jefferson County leaders, Waste Management will be replaced by Amwaste beginning April 1.

However, most of the receptacles were collected before new bins were issued. Some neighbors are missing personal garbage cans that they paid for.

“In certain instances, the Waste Management people picked up their personal can and that is one of the problems we’re addressing individually with our citizens to make sure they are made whole,” said Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens.

Stephens said the county had received complaints over service issues in 2020.

“One of our problems is the reason we changed vendors, citizens were going two weeks without having their garbage picked up,” Stephens said.

Neighbors grew frustrated after learning trash bins had been collected over the weekend.

“It would be nice for me to bring some of my garbage out,” said Andrea Hill, who lives in the west part of the county.

Hill said residents did not have any advanced notice about the transition.

“I didn’t get any kind of information, nor did any of my neighbors. We just wondered why they came and picked up the bins and didn’t leave anything for us to use,” said Hill.

Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos understands the frustrations. He said he had similar experiences when changing services when he served as mayor of Hoover.

“Any time you have a transition like this it is a problem,” Petelos said.

While Amwaste is set to begin providing service on April 1, Petelos asked for patience during the early stages of the process.

“It’s going to take [sanitation workers] time to learn the routes. There may be some delays moving forward but as they have the staff, the vehicles and the drivers are more familiar with the routes, it is going to get better,” Petelos said.

County leaders apologized for the confusion and lack of communication.

Prices will increase slightly each month for single-family services. Stephens explained Amwaste put in the lowest bid and that Waste Management’s services would have come at an increased cost.

“The lowest responsible bid covers 80% of the customers whose garbage was picked up and it was about $3 or $4 less per month,” Stephens said.

Trash pick-up days are fast approaching for some neighbors who still don’t have bins. Citizens like Hill hope the issues are resolved before Easter.

“I am not sure what we’ll do. I do not want to put just bags out because we have animals running around that get into the garage,” Hill said.

To answer questions from neighbors, Jefferson County set up a website and also a hotline. For more information about the transition, you can call 205-788-1400.

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