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Macon-Bibb County to bring in 2 outside companies to help with yard waste, bulky item pickup

One of the companies, Ceres Environmental Operations, will start Wednesday

MACON, Ga. — Bibb County's trash problems started with a delay with recycling pickup this spring because of Waste Management's staffing problems. Then, some parts of the county saw delays in trash pickup, but now, countywide, people's yard waste and bulky items aren't getting collected.

"Oftentimes, yard waste will go -- at least in my experience -- weeks and weeks without being collected, and other people in Shirley Hills, it's been months and months without it being collected," said Bob Harden. 

Piles and cans of yard waste line the roads in Harden's neighborhood, Shirley Hills. They sit right next to the blue recycling bins waiting to get picked up. 

"I leave things in containers. I'll get a small dead spot on my grass, but if you were to put a large pile of branches on your lawn that will leave a large, large spot on your lawn that now needs attended to," Harden said.

Harden and many of his neighbors have opted to just leave the bins out for whenever the county gets around to picking it up. 

Mayor Lester Miller estimates the county is behind by at least 30 days on yard waste pickup, and now, he says the county is calling this an emergency--bringing in two outside companies to help with pickup.

"We'll divide those areas up this week, and they'll begin immediately," Miller said.

Miller says he's declared this an emergency because Waste Management was supposed to take over the county's responsibility of picking up yard waste and bulky items on April 30.

But as we all know by now, Waste Management couldn't carry out even its primary duties of trash and recycling collection because of a severe staffing shortage. 

"We're starting to get behind across the community just like we did with the recycling, so we felt like this was the best way to handle it," Miller said.

The mayor says those two companies will work with the county for the next 8 weeks, and then the county will reassess where Waste Management is in their staffing dilemma.

Tuesday afternoon, the county announced one of the companies hired to pick up that yard waste. It is Ceres Environmental Operations, and they're scheduled to start work Wednesday.

The county still plans to hire a second company. Those plans are not yet finalized.

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