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Athens: either get in the trash business or don’t

By Ian Slack

It's not a huge issue for me that when Athens and Clarke County consolidated in 1991, that municipal trash collection was not expanded to the formerly unincorporated areas of the county. It'd be a nice to have, but I can live without it.

However, the plan by an Athens-Clarke County Commission committee that would force residents in those areas to use a specific trash hauler is just plain wrong. When I moved back to Athens in 2020, I contracted with a hauler that was awful—would miss weeks at a time, saying their trash truck was broken down or they had staffing issues. So, I'd be very unhappy if this went through and I landed in their "district." I also question whether a government even has the legal authority to mandate people buy services from a specific company.

Frankly, Athens leaders, if you want one hauler in neighbors, then expand municipal garbage services and charge us for them. If not, mind your own damn business!

Ian Slack is an Athens homeowner

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4 Comments


This is another example of petty officials attempting to insinuate themselves into every aspect of daily life. My arrangement with my trash service provider is not the business of the the members of the rat’s nest at city hall. I don’t need the local governmental shitshow to tell me where to purchase my groceries or fuel either. Perhaps the M&C could direct their attention to improving the marginal aspects of some of the current county departments. Hopefully this will convince local citizens to be more thoughtful about who they elect. We could certainly do better. I doubt we could do much worse.

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william
william
3 days ago

why don't we contract the whole sanitation department out, not just outside city limits. heck, lets just contract out the fire and police departments, we already contract out the ems service. contract out street department might work. we'd be just like scottsdale. might save some taxpayers money...(eye roll)

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BS Detector
BS Detector
3 days ago

Taking away free enterprise.....

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Replying to

So what do want? Municipal trash service or private companies? You’ll pay higher prices with private companies and wouldn’t be guaranteed any regular service as they are not following any regulations on pick up times/days. With municipal services, you have regularity, and employees with better pay and benefits. Now when a county or local government hires a company to run services, that’s where the problems start as stated in this article. It would most beneficial and cost effective to expand services to the entire county.

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