Commissioners pitch in on garbage pickup
by James Phillips
Dec 27, 2012 | 2956 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dan Wright, commissioner for District 2, tosses trash into a garbage truck Wednesday morning while helping county workers with garbage pickup. Photo special to the Eagle
Dan Wright, commissioner for District 2, tosses trash into a garbage truck Wednesday morning while helping county workers with garbage pickup. Photo special to the Eagle
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Officials with the Walker County Solid Waste Department expected Wednesday to be the toughest garbage pickup day of the year, and that was before freezing temperatures and snow flurries entered into the equation. Larry Hathcoat, landfill supervisor for the county, said garbage pickup went much better than expected.

“We had a couple of trucks to break down, but other than that, I think things went pretty smooth,” Hathcoat said.

One reason for the smooth day was additional vehicles were used for pickup and a larger number of volunteers helped throughout the day. Hathcoat said six full-size garbage trucks and six pickup trucks were used Wednesday. He said added labor came from a variety of places, including trustees from the Walker County Jail and workers from the county’s district shops. The Walker County Commission members also volunteered their help for the day.

“We had every commissioner and the chairman out there today,” Hathcoat sad. “I was on a truck too, so I didn’t see all of them, but from what I’ve heard they were a lot of help.”

Commission Chairman Billy Luster called his volunteer efforts “a good experience.”

“This was not a publicity stunt to get our pictures made. We wanted to do our part to help,” Luster said. “We want to find ways to improve our county and run more efficiently. This was a great way to see our solid waste department at work. They are a hardworking bunch, and that was obvious today.”

Steven Aderholt, commissioner for District 4, joked that the group couldn’t have picked a better day.

“We picked the coldest day of the year so far,” he said. “We wanted to see how this process is done, and that’s what we got to see. I went throughout several areas of my district. It was good to see how hard our employees work. We want to be able to improve their jobs any way that we can. Seeing how things are done first-hand is a good place to start.”

District 2 Commissioner Dan Wright has worked closely with the solid waste department throughout his four years on the Walker County Commission. He said he plans on helping each day this week. Wright also said he would open the Walker County Landfill on Saturday morning.

“That’s something I’ve done for a while now,” Wright said. “We have a lot of people who can only get to the landfill on Saturday. I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about having it open on Saturday mornings.”

The normal Monday and Wednesday routes ran Wednesday. Hathcoat said many residents did not have their garbage out.

“There were probably 20 or so that were not out on the route I ran,” he said. “We tried our best to get the word out about the schedule for the next two weeks. It was in the newspaper and on their bills.”

The normal Tuesday route will run on Thurday. The normal Thursday and Friday route will run on Friday. The Walker County Landfill will be closed Dec. 31-Jan.1. The garbage pickup will be the same next week due to those New Year’s holidays.

“I’ve been with the landfill for 23 years, and these two weeks are the toughest of the year,” Hathcoat said. “Hopefully each day will go as smooth as today did.”