Saturday, April 1, 2023

Oxford to Contract With Private Company for Litter Control on Local Roads

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

The city of Oxford is getting serious about litter control.

During a work session Thursday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to allow city staff to move forward with hiring a private company to pick up litter on Oxford’s roads.

“We have tried to tackle our litter problem in numerous ways,” said Mayor Robyn Tannehill. “With new pieces of equipment and additional employees … nothing picks up litter better than people with a stick.”

Last year, the city budgeted for and hired two people to pick up litter. However, with the pandemic often causing staffing issues, those two employees were often sent to help with residential garbage collection instead.

Chief Operating Officer Bart Robinson presented a proposal from a private company that would supply three workers and one supervisor, five hours a day at $625 a day, or two workers and one supervisor for five hours a day at $550 a day.

The workers’ will pick litter up off roads and highways inside the city limits.

To pay for the contract work, the two employees hired last time would be transferred to the Environment Service Department for residential garbage collection where they will fill two vacancies within that department that currently exist and are already a part of the department’s budget, according to Robinson.

“We would take those salaries for those two employees and use that money to pay for the litter service,” he said.

The amount of litter collection would be documented daily.

“We want to do it three days a week,” Tannehill said. “For right now anyway. It’s going to take the longest at first but once we have a regular litter crew out there, it will be less to pick up.”

The Board will re-evaluate the contract after two months.