Waste Management promises that big improvements already are beginning to happen

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Several county commissioners were fairly blunt throughout 2022 about their concerns with Waste Management, the company that has the solid waste contract with Baldwin County.

At Tuesday's first regular meeting of 2023, a pair of representatives from Waste Management were present, answering any and all questions from the five commissioners and audience members.

Walt Ritter, a company representative from Atlanta, said that "we just put a new fleet of trucks in Baldwin County, which will play a big role moving forward." The new trucks are equipped with a "canopy" over the top, as opposed to the old trucks, which were open air, which should help alleviate the amount of unbagged trash and loose debris flying off of the Waste Management trucks and into the roadways.

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Also, the new trucks have "an auto dump feature," according to Ritter, which basically "drops (the herby curby) back down to the same place." County Commissioner Emily Davis told Ritter that she's received calls from citizens about the drivers "just leaving the herby curby in the road."

Ritter also promised that the large containers at each of the county's convenience centers will be emptied in a more timely manner. Ritter said that the subcontractor used by Waste Management recently purchased "knuckle boom trucks" that make it easier and quicker to empty the containers at the convenience centers, in the process giving citizens more room to toss their trash and other waste into the appropriate container.

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The county commission originally entered into a five-year contract with Advanced Disposal back in 2017. In 2021, however, Advanced Disposal was bought out by the much larger Waste Management. 

In other news from Tuesday's regular meeting, longtime commissioner Emily Davis was named as the board chair for 2023. Johnny Westmoreland will serve as vice chair this year.

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