Bryan County has hired Atlantic Waste Services, Inc., to replace Republic as the sanitation provider in unincorporated areas of the county. The move will mean a new service provider, delivery of new polycarts, regular garbage and recycling pick-ups, new trucks owned and operated by a local company doing the collecting, and no cost increase to customers.
Bryan County put the contract out for bid and accepted proposals earlier this year to avoid an increase in cost. According to the county, the unexpected savings generated by awarding the contract to a new provider not only avoided an increase but netted $380,000 in annual savings. This very well could lead to a slight decrease in residents’ annual solid waste fees in the future, as opposed to the anticipated increase if the county had continued with the same provider. In addition, the company already serves the cities of Richmond Hill and Pembroke.
The county commission has approved the agreement for Atlantic to begin sanitation services beginning March 1. To prepare for the implementation of services, Atlantic will begin delivering polycarts to residents on Feb. 8. Attached to each polycart will be a schedule detailing trash and recycling pick-up days so residents will know exactly when to set out their bins. Trash and recycling will be collected on the same day, so resident will only need to put their polycarts on the curb once per week.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and half of Thursday will be dedicated to routes in the south end of the county. Half of Thursday and Friday will be dedicated to north-end routes. Each resident will receive one green-lidded garbage cart and one yellow-lidded recycle cart. Extra carts can be purchased for $120, billed in advance annually, by calling 912-964-2000 or emailing email@example.com.
In their green-lidded garbage polycarts, residents may place “landfill-only waste,” including non-hazardous household and commercial refuse such as food scraps, glass bottles, and non-recyclable plastics. Construction and demolition waste, paint, tires, medical waste greater than 2 pounds per week, and hazardous waste materials (such as radioactive waste, extremely acidic or basic chemicals, containers containing 5 or more gallons of liquid) are not permitted.
Recyclables placed in the yellow-lidded carts must be loose and unbagged. They will be picked up every other week, as noted on the schedules that will come with residents' polycarts. Acceptable items include Plastics #1-7, paper, cardboard, metal cans, aluminum cans, clean pizza boxes and aseptic packaging. Items that are not permissible include glass, plastic wrap, aerosol cans, aluminum foil, Styrofoam, wax bottles, food waste, food-tainted items, ceramic kitchenware, plastic toys or sporting goods, wood, packing peanuts and bubble wrap, hazardous chemicals and containers, and yard clippings.
Atlantic Vice President Ben Wall said that his company’s website will include a special link just for Bryan County residents, which they can click on to find their route maps and schedules at any time. The site and social media will also be used to communicate any changes in service or schedule alterations, should bad weather or unexpected circumstances arise.
In addition, the transition to a new service provider will mean lower rates at the county’s convenience centers. It currently costs 25 cents per pound to dispose of bulk waste at the centers, but that rate will decrease to 10 cents per pound under Atlantic’s operation. Bulk waste may still be dropped off at the 144 Spur location (South Bryan) or the Mill Creek location (North Bryan). Those who would like bulk items picked up at their homes should call Atlantic's offices. The cost will depend on the size, weight, and amount. The current rate for garbage and recycling pickups will not change and, eventually, residents may expect to see a cost savings.
Wall said he’s eager to provide quality service to all the citizens of Bryan County. Atlantic already serves Richmond Hill and Pembroke.
“My family has been lifelong property owners in Bryan County and, as a company, we are really looking forward to the opportunity to serve all the customers and citizens in the area,” Wall said. “We’re a locally owned company, so the money that residents spend with us is staying right here in the community, which we greatly care about.”
Malorie Boyd, Atlantic’s residential operations manager, stressed the importance of residents remembering to set out their polycarts the night before they’re scheduled for pick-up.
“Some routes start very early, so if your home is at the beginning of a route, then you might get picked up very early in the morning, around 6 a.m. So make sure you bring everything to the curb the evening before,” Boyd said.