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County Continues Quest for Fully Automated Trash Collection

By Alyssa Schnugg
Staff writer

As Lafayette County continues working toward the goal of making solid waste collection completely automated, it’s now up to the Board of Supervisors to grant the funds necessary to make that happen.

Lafayette County is working toward the goal of making solid waste collection completely automated. File photo.

On Monday, the supervisors met with Solid Waste Manager Jody Harrison to review his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019.
The fiscal year for county government runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
Harrison presented his $2,7,66,748 budget, that is down from the current year’s budget by $114,860, despite his asking for one automated truck and one rear-loader.
While the goal is to have enough automated trucks to cover the entire county eventually, Harrison said the new rear-loader is still necessary until the conversation is complete.
“Then next year, I’ll come back and ask for two more automated trucks,” Harrison said. “I believe with five automated trucks we could cover the county efficiently.”
The county is already running one automated truck, with one more on the way. 
The county issued special garbage cans in 2017 that are 96-gallon cans and have a metal lift bar. The automated trucks grab the bar and lift the can, eliminating the need to have workers ride on the back of vehicles, that could – and has been – a safety concern.
In 2015, Solid Waste employee Kalvin Caldwell, 38, died after being trapped underneath a garbage truck. It was shortly after Caldwell’s death the supervisors began looking at alternate ways to collect trash.
Harrison also requested the funds to make a part-time position a full-time one to help with the growing population in the county.
The board is also considering bumping up the start time for trash collection from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m. so that workers can finish earlier to avoid the late afternoon heat in the summertime. However, if approved, that change won’t go into effect until next spring.
The supervisors also reviewed the budget from the Main Buildings and Grounds Department that presented an $877,908 budget, up from the current year’s $809,856.

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