Huntington Hills Residents Frustrated Over Trash Service

People living in the Huntington Hills subdivision just want someone to pick up their trash. When Phenix City switched its garbage service from Waste Management to Sunflower Waste, the subdivision was dropped from the trash route because it's not inside the city limits. Residents were left with the burden of hauling it to the dump themselves, because Lee County lacks a pick-up service. It's a big inconvenience for those who are used to having their trash picked up once a week at their curbs.

"When you're used to having a service provided for you for a number of years, and then to have it taken away, it's just hard to swallow," said Steve Edmunds, a Huntington Hills resident.

Residents got their chance on Monday to ask the Lee County Commission for permission to pay Sunflower Waste for trash pick-up.  Some are frustrated that Sunflower was a no-show at the meeting.

"I talked to somebody from Sunflower at 3:00 today, they assured me they would have someone at this meeting tonight. They did not show," said Huntington Hills resident Karen Edmunds. "If they get the contract, I might not contract with them. If they don't care, I don't care."

Commissioners say that while they're open to the idea of letting Huntington Hills pay for its own trash pick-up, it's not a decision they can approve in one night. Making an exception for one neighborhood could open the door to many other similar requests around the county.

Commission Chairman Judge Bill English told residents that the Commission would first have to talk to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management before they could come to an agreement.  They may also have to re-write Lee County's trash disposal plan. It could be a slow legal process.

Commissioner Harry Ennis pleaded with Huntington Hills residents to be patient.

"We came up with, generally speaking tonight, from three to six months that it could take to get this issue resolved," Ennis said. "So we intend to pursue that, keep the people posted, keep them informed, and try to work something out to the satisfaction of everybody."

Lee County Commissioners say they're still trying to understand how Huntington Hills got on Phenix City's trash route in the first place, since it's not inside the city limits. However, the agreement stayed in place for 12 years. They say if Phenix City hadn't switched its trash service and dropped the neighborhood from its route, the oversight probably would have gone unnoticed for several more years.