Members of the Spalding County Board of Commissioners were literally taking about trash — primarily cutting back the days of operation for the county recycling centers to save some money in a proposed $82.5 million budget. County Manager William Wilson Jr. proposed closing the recycling and trash collection centers located at the county fire stations for two days a week.
Wilson is still waiting to find out which days are slowest, but said Sundays and possibly Wednesdays could be an option. He said the county could save about $35,000 per day of the week the centers are closed.
He suggested Sundays because of the additional costs incurred because the landfill is closed on Sundays and the county has to pay the city of Griffin $10 a ton more than at the landfill to empty the compactors at the city transfer station. Wilson said the two compactors at each location are emptied daily and have to be at least three-quarters full to be emptied.
Board of Commissioners Chairman Eddie Freeman said “two days seems like a lot” and proposed just closing one day, on Sundays.
“I don’t want to get away from that service,” Freeman said. “I want to make sure we get the right days.”
Commissioner Gwen Flowers-Taylor proposed closing the centers three days a week.
“People just have to be able to adjust,” she said.
The other commissioners agreed on two days as a compromise.
Commissioner Chipper Gardner said “it’s not as drastic a cut as it was when it went from 24 hours to only 12 hours a day.”
During public comments on the budget, resident James Brooks asked why the county is having to pay $200,000 a year to the city to dump on its own land. Wilson said the city and county own the landfill and the city operates it.
Wilson said the county pays $20 a ton, compared to $32 a ton for commercial haulers. The city also has to pay, Wilson said, since the landfill is set up as an enterprise fund.