City Councilman discusses city trash situation

Published 10:09 am Wednesday, June 26, 2024

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Selma City Councilman Clay Carmichael discussed the city’s ongoing trash dilemma with Martin Environmental.

Selma residents often complain because Martin Environmental doesn’t pick up trash in neighborhoods as scheduled.

“I want to update the citizens of Selma on this because I am constantly answering questions related to the issues, specifically Martin Environmental,” Carmichael said. 

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Carmichael, the council’s public works committee chairman, explained the inconsistency of Martin Environmental on social media.

“We did it wrong; we did the contract wrong and the ordinance wrong,” Carmichael said. “Not completely, but enough that when Martin Environmental took over, we realized that we needed to make changes. The council wanted to make changes before, and we voted to do so, but the administration moved on because they said LDI needed to start making money.”

Carmichael said Martin Environmental can leave without penalty.

“Martin Environmental does not have a contract with the city, so technically there’s nothing holding them here and nothing requiring you to use them,” Carmichael said. “The issue they have is the reluctance of the executive branch to work out a contract and, therefore, have been reluctant to invest somewhere that may leave them out tomorrow. Not having a contract hurts financing, hiring and equipment and, in turn, hurts service because the investment is not there. Because our ordinance has a set price structure, Martin is stuck with doing business at this price despite the 50% increase in costs that happened over the last three years since we voted on this ordinance. “

Carmichael warned residents about getting a new trash company. 

“Be careful about swapping services because of this,” Carmichael said. “We will be negotiating with Martin to set a standard. Any other company will have to meet the same standard of excellence, and if Martin doesn’t meet the standard, we will negotiate an agreement with another company. Again, any company will have the right to come in and compete at the standard voted upon and set by the Selma City Council.”