Missing garbage container? It’s because you haven’t paid yet

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 15, 2004

If you wake up this morning and your garbage can has disappeared it was not because the trash fairy came. You may have a delinquent garbage collection bill. Recently, Marengo County and Arrow Disposal Inc. entered an agreement to make trash collection easier for cities and communities in the county. They also established a payment system where each person paid three months in advance to help battle the possibility of delinquent accounts. However, when those three months were up some unpaid bills began to arise.

After that, a sticker system was used. Stickers were placed on the cans of paying customers while those with outstanding accounts were left unmarked. This also failed to get some customers attention.

As of today, Arrow is going back to a more effective way of collecting. The other two methods will still be used. However, if bills are unpaid the cans will be taken away.

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Ron Cole, who was at Monday’s Marengo County Commission meeting as a representative of Arrow, said there were several conflicts with the sticker system.

.” We had a problem with the postal service delivering the stickers,” Cole said. “We are not sure what the problem there was. They assured us all the mailing of the stickers was put out so we stopped picking up the cans until we could straighten that out.”

Cole said they had given plenty of notice to those with delinquent accounts and he hoped to be able to work things out without having to take the cans back.

“We send out a delinquent notice at 30 and 60 days,” Cole said.

“We will do anything for the people who are delinquent to help them keep their service. We want to cooperate as much s we can.”

Marengo County Commissioner Ken Tucker said they wanted to work with people to make sure their garbage is picked up. Tucker said he felt the system of warnings being used was fair and people had plenty of time to correct their accounts.

“It is important to us that everybody have the opportunity to get their bill paid up,” Tucker said. “We want them to know if they are delinquent that we have s many people as we can on garbage pickup.

They are given plenty of notice of their delinquency. They are given ample warning before the cans are picked up.”

The county has asked John Bell, who helped put together the Solid Waste Management Plan, to assist in making the plan work. Commission Chairman Max Joiner said Bell gives a little more substance to the plan.

“The reason we want to have John involved on this with them is because he can use the court system is he has to,” Joiner said.

“This takes things like “I didn’t get my mail” and things like that out of it. Some people are on P.O. boxes and some are on 911 addresses and all of this just doesn’t gel together sometimes.”

Joiner said the purpose for the removal of cans is not to bully people into paying their bills. They simply want to see paying customers rewarded for being just that.

“We aren’t trying to harass anybody,” Joiner said. “We are just trying to make sure that the paying customers aren’t getting penalized.”

Cole added if there is a possibility a can is being picked up by mistake please let someone know before the can is removed.