LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Lamar County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of a new automated garbage truck in hopes of revamping their sanitation department.
After roughly a year of discussion and plans, the purchase of the side-arm automated garbage truck passed in a 4-1 vote, with District 5 Supervisor Dale Lucus opposing the issue.
"It's absolutely a good thing for the county," said District 4 Supervisor Phillip Carlisle.
The bid accepted by the supervisors was from Sansom Equipment Company for a new, fully automated side-arm garbage truck at a price of $222,118.
"Going forward with it, we will incorporate the first route as soon as the truck gets here," Carlisle. "We'll start the distribution of the garbage cans on that applicable route."
The main issues supervisors noted with the current trucks is safety.
"For me, it's well worth it, simply because of the safety of the employees," Carlisle said. "Very, very dangerous profession. You're out there and you got a lot of distracted drivers, and we've had a near fatality and we've had fatalities in a neighboring county."
Carlisle added that the platforms that are on the back of current garbage trucks are a serious issue.
"It's kind of interesting that the platforms on the back of our existing trucks don't come made like that, from a manufacturer, because they don't want the liability," Carlisle said. "We actually have to install those."
He said it will also help with the cleanliness in the county along the roadways.
"The existing garbage trucks that we have, no matter how good our employees are, they still have garbage that comes out of them," said Carlisle.
Another thing supervisors are hoping to eliminate is the spreading of garbage from bags left on the curbside.
The cans are 96-gallon cans, and supervisors said they are easy to roll. If a home needs more than one, the owner will be able to purchase a second one.
Supervisors are looking at doing some fine-tuning to the routes and rules, especially with online shopping and large boxes being delivered to homes.
"We'll ask that they break them down if possible," Carlisle said. "That will be on in to our implementation plan, but yeah, when possible, we'll ask them to break them down."
He said special exceptions will also be made around holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.
"We're going to have areas, we're going to have Christmas week and we're going to have Thanksgiving week where you're probably going to have stuff outside the can," said Carlisle. "But for the most part, we're going to ask people that they put everything in the can that they possibly can."
Carlisle said overall, it will lead to a cleaner county and a safer environment for county employees.
"You won't have bags outside of cans by the road where animals are getting in to them," he said. "We're constantly having to send our crews, primarily in rural areas, to clean up these areas where animals have gotten in the garbage. It's going to go a long way in the cleanup of the county and I look forward to it."