Lee County may see curbside trash pickup soon

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By Hannah Lester
hlester@opelikaobserver.com

The Lee County Commission voted to adopt an amendment to the solid waste management plan during the Monday night meeting, allowing for curbside pickup for solid waste.

The amendment reads:

“The county may, in the future, elect to collect solid waste at the point of generation (curbside pickup for household waste and/or container pickup for commercial waste). The county may elect to contract with private haulers for collection services. If the County elects to collect solid waste at the point of generation or contract with private haulers, they may continue operating some or all of the current drop-off centers or discontinue them if so desired.”

Essentially, the county has the option to collect solid waste in the future, rather than rely solely on the current collection sites.

“The plan currently only allows for Lee County to handle its solid waste of the county citizens in the unincorporated areas of the county by collection at the collection sites that we have throughout the county,” said County Engineer Justin Hardee.

Over the last several weeks, citizens and commissioners have complained about trash problems and littering within the county. Collection sites are often overflowing.

“Last year Lee County tipped over 36,000 tons of solid waste, which was our highest year by far, more than a third, more than 33% increase from just 10 years ago,” Hardee said. “Lee County is the last county in Alabama that is running a system like this with sites that are open essentially 24/7.”

Hopefully this plan would help stop some of the abuse to the collection sites, Hardee said.

“My personal opinion is we don’t need to keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. “We need to improve our system, we need to make it more efficient, we need to provide more service to our citizens.”

But, as Hardee and Probate Judge Bill English stressed, this does not mean that the collection sites would no longer be utilized.

“We’re not stopping one thing and starting another tonight,” Hardee said.

The plan moving forward could be to keep the current collection sites open on certain days and do curbside in addition, he said.

There was a public hearing about the issue, but no one came forward to speak.

Other Business:

The commission authorized the engagement of a professional planner, Jim Lehe, for help with the Lee County Zoning Regulations Project.

The commission postponed the employee advancement program for one month.

The commission adopted a supplemental program that will provide additional compensation for certain activities of employees.

The commission approved personnel policy changes that will move classified positions to employment contracts.

The commission approved to end the temporary COVID-19 policies at end of day on July 2.

The commission approved the final report of litigations and insolvencies for the county.

The commission approved supernumerary compensation of the revenue commissioner.

The commission approved the Lee County Zoning Regulations as created by the planning commission (see A1 for more information).

The commission discussed written public comment to ADEM regarding the potential Beulah quarry (see A1 for more information).

The commission accepted Sentinel Hills Subdivision Phase 2 for county maintenance.

The commission agreed to provide assistance to the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center for trenching.

The commission approved the courthouse annex resolution which will allow the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center as a courthouse annex.

The commission established a Trust Fund for other post-employment benefits (OPEB).

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