New garbage trucks to help resolve backlog of waste pickup in Columbus

New garbage trucks to help resolve backlog of waste pickup in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Ever since March 3, when tornadoes hit the Chattahoochee Valley, the Columbus Department of Public Works said they’ve been back-logged when it comes to picking up trash and yard waste.

Now, they are working to improve services and catch-up.

Residents in Columbus are concerned about the delays they’ve been experiencing when it comes to trash and yard waste pickups.

Not only are the public works crews working two extra days per week with extended hours, the city just purchased six new trucks. This means more crews will be out on the more than 50 routes throughout Columbus to meet their goal to get caught up on waste pickup in the next three weeks.

“It’s very frustrating, because we also have cats on our street and when the trash is not picked up, they come mess it up. Then, we only get one day the trash comes anywa,y so when it’s delayed, it’s just hectic,” said Jaskisha Jackson.

Patricia Biegler, Columbus’ director of Public Works, said there’s several reasons for the delays and backlog. “Part of that is three major storms in a row," she said.

Biegler said a lack of mechanics and an aging fleet also play a role. But now, there’s a solution to one of of those problems. Columbus City Manager Isaiah Hugley recently approved the emergency purchase of six new garbage trucks at a total price tag of just over $1 million.

“And so in order to catch up and stay up, we need the trucks,” Biegler said.

The price tag is still less than what the city would normally pay for six trucks. If they were custom made, the same trucks would cost about $1.5 million. The trucks will be used for trash, yard waste and recycling pick-ups throughout the city.

Biegler said with the new trucks, plus extended hours and two additional work days per week, they’re hoping to catch up by August 10.

Jackson is happy the new trucks won’t cost her any additional tax dollars, but she said she’s still skeptical.

“So if it really helps then I’ll be happy," she said. "But if it doesn’t help, then...”

Biegler is making a presentation at city council Tuesday evening to update them on the issues facing the public works department right now.

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