Ordinarily one might criticize a government entity for doing something that was, well, trashy or just plain garbage. We’ll make an exception just this once though for the Whitley County Fiscal Court’s newest project, which is getting into the garbage collection business.
On Friday afternoon, the fiscal court took delivery of a new $229,890 Freightliner M-2 garbage truck with a New Way Sidewinder body. Coal severance funds were used to pay for all but about $60,000 of the cost for the new garbage truck.
New garbage cans will be delivered this week and the county hopes to start its new garbage collection service on Feb. 10.
“Fingers crossed,” noted Whitley County Projects Director Amber Owens.
Plans are to operate the new garbage truck Monday through Thursday, and it will start collection services in the area of just outside of the Williamsburg city limits along Highway 92E all the way to the Knox County line, including the side roads in between, such as Highway 904, Highway 1064, Harps Creek and Poplar Creek.
In December, the county began offering dumpster service to some of those areas after existing garbage hauling services refused to provide service any more.
“We are already seeing the demand. We had people at our last fiscal court meeting that talked about the need for the service,” said Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr.
“We’ve had numerous phone calls over the last few months talking about the need for service. This is why we are getting into it, to try to fill a need that we have seen, and heard about from county citizens.”
Owens said Friday that she has 10 applications from people, who have already paid for service through July 1, but she has several more applications that are still out and is expecting to get more back as the garbage collection actually starts.
The fiscal court has already ordered 200 of the 95-gallon garbage cans for customers, which are similar to what many people are already using.
Owens anticipates ordering 300 – 400 more cans once the number of customers increases.
The cost of the garbage can is included in customer’s monthly, quarterly or annual payments.
The cost for the garbage collection service will be $20 a month if the bill is paid each month, $19 a month if the bill is paid quarterly, and $18 per month if the bill is paid annually.
Owens is confident that the number of customers for the county’s garbage collection service will increase as time goes along.
“I think it will grow. I think our prices are competitive. We plan to offer a good service. Both of the guys, who are driving for us, are committed to this, and they want to provide a good service,” Owens said.
White agrees that he thinks the service will grow.
“We are hearing issues around the county. It is not just this area. This area that we are going to try and serve first in the 92 East community is the one we have heard the most and first concerns about. They just couldn’t get service at all. This is what motivated us to get started,” White added.
“If we see a need that citizens have we will do the best we can to try and serve it.”
Those interested in signing up for the county’s garbage collection service can contact the judge-executive’s office at 549-6000.