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Seeking to keep dumpsters from looking like a dump

Commissioner Stan Sheppard shook his head when it was his time to fill in the other Screven County Commissioners about the trash woes the Solid Waste Department was having.
“It’s not getting better, it’s getting worse,” Sheppard said.
Screven Countians are surely noticing their trash dumpsters filling up and not being emptied. There are a number of reasons why they aren’t being maintained: the county’s “garbage truck” that was semi-reliable caught on fire Thursday morning and was totaled from the damage; the backup garbage truck has been in the shop for a while; the county’s new $156,000 “roll on/off” truck had problems with its hydraulic lines and had to be sent back for repairs; and, lastly, surrounding counties cannot aid Screven due to their own issues.
Sheppard mentioned switching to all roll on/off type dumpsters, which are the large 20-yard type rather than the small lift ones designed for a standard garbage truck. Commissioner J.C. Warren suggested consolidating the county’s trash dumpster sites down from the current 54 (including home/rental units).
 “We might have to look at consolidating some of these sites. We did this a while back, remember mister chairman?” Warren said. “We took a beating, but let me tell you right now that’s one of the best things that happened.”
Warren said everybody would go by a trash site when they drive in the county, suggesting it might be the best way to go.
The problem with consolidating, however, comes with the large roll on/off cans may not be able to fit into certain spots. There are smaller roll on/off dumpsters for purchase, Solid Waste Director Bobby Smith said. The new truck would need backup so an additional roll on/off truck would have to be purchased.
A new garbage truck would cost the county more than $200,000, Sheppard said. The insurance deductible on the garbage truck that burned is higher than the vehicle’s value, so that avenue does not exist, County Manager Rick Jordan said.
All of these remedies are not immediate, the board said. The urgency in fixing the county’s lone garbage truck and getting the new roll on/off truck operating is high.
“In any event, if we don’t have a truck that will run we’ve got to go to the outside to clean the county up,” Jordan said. “‘Cause it’s a mess. It’s a mess.”
The board said they’d have to rely on the county’s trucks becoming operational and couldn’t get immediate outside assistance. Buying another roll on/off truck would take four to six weeks, if the commissioners decide to go that route, as well as replacing all of the counties dumpsters, if decided on, would take an additional amount of time.
“I was getting phone calls by Friday night, so…” Commissioner Gregg Ellison said.
Commissioner Dennis Lawton asked for the county, if they consolidated, not to take any sites away from his district as he only has two. Lawton also acknowledged he had been getting complaints too.
Chairman Will Boyd said the county is looking bad and the sites on Highway 301 are becoming eyesores for anyone who drives into the county. A cost-benefit analysis would need to occur before the board moved on with any plans, he said.
The board is pursuing an ACCG loan to cover the new roll on/off truck that was purchased as ACCG has the lowest interest rate (1.5 percent) compared to local banks or the manufacturer.