City cracking down on landlords, households for garbage

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sea Coast Disposal is having some of the same issues Advanced Disposal had before they eventually stopped collecting garbage in Selma in 2015.

There are still residents that have not signed up for service, and there are residents that are not paying their bills.

“That’s what we don’t want Sea Coast to do. We want the citizens to understand that it is vital for them to one, help beautify the city, and two, keep our garbage service going,” said Public Works Director Sean VanDiver. “We don’t want to be without a garbage service because they can’t pay their bills because the citizens don’t pay for their garbage.”

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Mayor Darrio Melton told the council during a work session last week that the company is having trouble collecting fees for garbage service, along with people signing up for service, which is required by city ordinance.

“They are on the verge of not being able to collect for us,” Melton said. “Sea Coast is having a hard time collecting money.”

City ordinances require residents to sign up for garbage service with the company that is contracted with the city.

An ordinance also holds landlords responsible for making sure tenants are signed up. If not, then the landlord is responsible for paying the fee.

Garbage service for apartment complexes is also required by ordinance.

VanDiver said the city is now trying to find ways to make sure people understand that garbage service is required by stricter enforcement of city ordinances.

“We have to enforce the ordinance we have in place before we ask the City Council to stricken any other ordinance,” VanDiver said. “That is where we’re at right now. We’re going to enforce the ordinance and the laws that we have on the book right now, and then we’ll revisit if that doesn’t improve with the trash being dumped around the city.”

VanDiver said a public service announcement has been issued. He said the announcement is also running on the city’s Public, Educational and Government Access channel on Charter, which is channel 181.

VanDiver said there are at least 29 pages worth of people without service or suspended service. He estimated more than 800 households without garbage service and between four and six apartment complexes without dumpsters for residents to put their garbage in.

VanDiver said the issue is becoming a major concern for the city.

“It is a major concern for the fact that we have to send resources to pick up household garbage that is taking away from other duties at public works,” he said.

“We have to stop and go pick up household garbage, and then the city has to pay tipping fees to take that garbage to the waste field because it cannot go in the city landfill. The city is incurring expenses of employees that could be doing other duties, and then the city is also paying for said garbage to be dumped.”

According to the PSA released by the city, landlords must report to the Public Service Department office at city hall by Feb. 3 to provide proof of garbage service. If not, landlords could be fined anywhere from $50 to $200.

VanDiver said the city does not want to end up in the same place it was in with Advanced Disposal. Anyone with questions or concerns can call the office at (334) 874-2106.

Calls to Sea Coast seeking comment on the situation were not immediately returned Thursday.