County purchases sanitation trucks

Published 6:40 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of two new sanitation trucks that county staff hope will make it easier to manage the growing amount of trash taken to local convenience centers.

Troup County staff have been working for months to find less expensive ways to haul trash from the convenience centers since earlier this year, when the City of LaGrange increased prices for hauling. The City of LaGrange increased rates for industrial customers earlier this year to build up funds for a possible future landfill site and make up for funds lost by offering collection and dumping at a price below the cost of the service. The increase included hauling, which has had a noticeable impact on the pickup of county trash at convenience centers. The county previously used the City of LaGrange for a large portion of those pickups. 

“LaGrange is going up 30 percent on their tipping fee, so as we discussed, they do not have the manpower to meet our needs at our convenience centers,” County Manager Tod Tentler said. “We looked at some other options of contracting it out, and we think both financially and efficiency wise it is better to take that back in house. So, we are requesting to purchase two additional roll off trucks.”

The county commission voted to purchase a roll off truck from Rush Truck Center in September. The truck cost $158,458.98, and the trucks approved Tuesday should cost a similar price. According to information released during the meeting, the trucks will be delivered within 90 to 120 days of the order. 

“It has been a tough issue for all of us for many, many months, and it has taken us time to get a handle on this because some of this was in our control and some of it was not,” Commission Chairman Patrick Crews said. “Most people did not know that the costs were going up tremendously. That is what we were having to deal with on the back side, but I think [county staff] have done a great job of getting this under control.”

Troup County Division Director of Public Services Dexter Wells said the trucks were a good value for the county’s needs, and commissioners and county staff alike expressed an eagerness to see the problem resolved as soon as possible. 

“I’ve been here almost two years, and it’s been one of the biggest complaints I’ve had from citizens in my part of the county,” Commissioner Lewis Davis said. “‘The convenience centers are always full. They look horrible,’ and we are taking the heat for this, and in reality, we are at the mercy of others. I don’t like being at the mercy of others when we can do better.”

Employees and vehicles from the Troup County Roads Department have been transporting the trash while the county sought a solution, and Tentler said that the new trucks and additional employees — that the county hopes to hire at a later date to man those trucks — will allow road department employees to return to work on roads. He also said that by having its own trucks, the county would no longer have to wait for another hauler to pick up trash at convenience centers.

“By far this is the most economical way to do that, and also, it is more efficient because right now we are at the mercy of other people,” Tentler said. “[When] we get a call saying we’ve got a bin that is overflowing now, we have to depend on somebody else to go get it for us. When we purchase these vehicles for ourselves, we can send somebody out there immediately.”

Troup County hauled 236 loads in September, according to Wells. According to Tentler, the amount of trash produced by citizens of Troup County has been rising at a rate of 20 to 30 percent per year and is expected to continue to grow.

Tentler confirmed that county staff had looked into other options and believed doing its own hauling would be the cheapest option.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Ave.