Valdosta Announces Special Trash Pickup Policy

| June 30, 2015

Valdosta Government

VALDOSTA — There’s more to garbage collection than meets the eye. Each week the city’s Public Works Department serves over 18,000 customers with sanitation services. These services include household garbage, recyclables and yard waste—each picked up by a different sanitation truck at a different time. Citizens who need to dispose of larger, bulkier items that do not fit into the rollout bins that the Public Works Department provides for sanitation customers require what’s known as a “special pickup.”

Special pickups are items that require “special” handling—such as appliances, furniture and other large household items. A special pickup is also required for garbage that is not containerized, yard waste or construction materials mixed with trash, building materials and all other large or heavy items for disposal.

The most common special pickups used to cost $10-$20. However, a $2 per month residential sanitation fee increase, effective July 1, eliminates the $10-$20 fees for normal residential special pickups. Under the new policy, sanitation customers will not be charged for debris piles less than 4 ft. x 8 ft. x 5 ft. (see figure 1). Sanitation customers who utilize the free special pickups for small piles even twice a year—which in the past would have cost between $20 and $40—will notice little to no difference in their annual sanitation costs.

“Sanitation crews will automatically pick up debris piles that are placed appropriately at curbside on the designated collection day and measure 4 ft. x 8 ft. x 5 ft. or less at no cost, and citizens are not required to call Public Works to arrange these small special pickups,” said Public Works Director Richard Hardy. “However, citizens are required to call to arrange a larger special pickup which will allow us to dispatch our resources accordingly.”

Dispatching sanitation trucks for larger piles require additional costs. Depending on the size of the debris pile and the effort needed to collect it, either a $45 charge will be assessed for piles larger than 4 ft. x 8 ft. x 5 ft. (see figure 2) or a $90 fee will be charged for piles larger than 6 ft. x 10 ft. (see figure 3).

Citizens are required to call and schedule these larger pickups. The major reason for the need to call and for the associated costs is that larger piles—as described above—normally require the use of a claw truck. These trucks are costly to operate and are scheduled based on calls received from sanitation customers. The trucks also have limited storage capacity, requiring more frequent trips to the landfill and significantly higher disposal charges, since disposal charges are generated based on weight.

According to Valdosta City Ordinance Sec. 4-2003 (C) (2), all property owners and/or property management companies that serve dispossessory—or eviction—notices to residents will be responsible for calling for a special pickup the day before the dispossession is to be served to the resident. Property owners bear ultimate responsibility for proper notification and costs if tenants have been evicted. Failure to comply will result in additional charges associated with the disposal of each special pickup that is made by the city.

Furthermore, citizens who are working on a construction project or have accumulated large amounts of debris such as brick, rock, concrete or other heavy materials should utilize the Public Works Department’s roll-off services, offered to general contractors, builders, residential customers and landscape companies who provide services within the city limits. This additional service meets the demands of these customers by providing them with a variety of container sizes, an extensive service area and efficient and economical hauling services that save customers both time and money. While there is a fee for this service, the fee for the roll-off container will be less than a special pick-up fee for the majority of construction and debris matter.

“Our friendly and dedicated customer service, dispatch, and operations staff works closely to ensure fast and efficient services to our customers,” said Hardy.

City of Valdosta

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