SQUARES ROUNDED_02 Ratio mod Covington

COVINGTON — Latham Home Sanitation and Advanced Waste Disposal have set Monday, Nov. 11, as the start-up date for them to take over sanitation collections in Covington.

The Covington City Council approved the final contracts with Latham and Advanced at its Oct. 7 meeting.

After months of discussion and hearing proposals from three companies, the council voted in August to move from city-provided sanitation to private companies handling collections. In the past, city sanitation services have been a drain on the budget to the tune of up to $250,000 a year. It is expected that the new contracts will allow for a lower residential service fee for garbage pick up and take the burden off city finances for the service.

Latham Sanitation will provide residential garbage collection, and Latham and Advanced Waste Disposal will combine to handle commercial solid waste collection. The city will continue to handle collecting yard wastes and will handle customer service, with the garbage fees continuing to be billed out by the city.

The city’s cost in the contract with Latham will be $16.15 per household, with one pickup a week. Included in it is door-to-door pickup and returning of containers for seniors and disabled citizens. There will be a charge of $8 for each additional container after the first one, which Knight noted is the same price the city now charges for additional containers. Latham included bulk waste — appliances, furniture — pickup in its fee and residents will be allowed to put out two items of bulk waste a week when they put out their garbage cans for pickup.

The collection fees for residents have yet to be determined, but City Manager Leigh Anne Knight assured the council that the new fee will not be greater than the current one and could possibly be less. The monthly residential pickup rate will remain at $25 per household until the city can determine its cost for handling customer service and picking up yard waste; then the council will decide on the new rate. She noted that recycling costs have increased, and that could affect the new rate.

On the commercial side, Latham will handle small businesses that use the 95-gallon rolling carts, with the same fee for them as for residential pickup. Advanced Waste Disposal will handle the larger businesses that use Dumpsters and rolloff containers, with those fees based on the size of the Dumpster or rolloff and how many times a week it has to be picked up.

At the work session prior to their meeting on Oct. 7, Knight advised the council that Advanced has agreed to purchase two of the city’s sanitation trucks for $405,000, and all of the city’s commercial front-load and roll-off Dumpsters for $150,000. She said the city is keeping a truck to handle yard wastes and a truck to handle illegal dumping collection and disposal.

Councilman Josh McKelvey asked that Latham keep track of the collection of bulk items so the city will know how many people utilize the service.

He also suggested that the city consider keeping track of how many times a garbage pickup is missed, and if a residence is consistently missed, then the city not charge them for the next month’s collection fee.

During the meeting, both contracts were approved by 3-2 votes. Anthony Henderson and Kenneth Morgan cast the dissenting votes. Hawnethia Williams was absent.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.