Like police, fire and hospital personnel and active-duty military members, city and county sanitation crews work while most residents are home with their families and friends on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
These government employees brave winter temperatures when hauling off discarded holiday wrapping paper and boxes, not to mention the remnants of New Year’s Eve parties.
Hinesville sanitation department supervisor Rodney Edwards said his employees work “every holiday of the year.” The city contracts with CH2MHill/OMI for sanitation and parks and grounds services, along with street, fleet and drainage maintenance.
“We have a crew of 16 people during the holidays,” Edwards said. “We have a nine-man crew that picks up the household garbage (via poly carts). A five-man crew picks up yard waste and dry trash (junk). Then we have a crew of two that picks up just the dry trash (junk, boxes, etc.).”
Liberty County’s solid-waste authority maintains a crew of 12, according to Kathy Poole, Liberty County Solid Waste Authority administrative financial manager. Poole said the cost to haul off trash does not increase that much during the holidays.
“We generally see an increase in our recyclable cardboard and household trash,” she said. The trash itself tends to be lightweight, Poole said.
She said the county experiences increased traffic at its seven rural collections sites. Collection sites in Liberty County are at:
• 344 Fort Morris Road in Sunbury
• 25 South Dairy Road in Gum Branch
• 156 Pate Rogers Road in Fleming
• 836 Limerick Road near Lake George
• Highway 84 at Miller Park
• 619 J.V. Road west of Hinesville
• 50 Isle of Wight Road near Midway
“Like most work forces, we are challenged to meet work demands in spite of reduced working hours and employee vacation leave,” Poole said. “Our operational challenge is working around the reduced hours of the landfill in Wayne County, where our waste is hauled.”
“During the holidays there is always extra trash, probably due to guests coming in town and people have extra food, and they like to clean their yards up so that it will be presentable to their guests,” Edwards said. “Whatever the case may be, we help people out on the holidays by dumping extra containers — but only for the holidays. Any other time, we only dump city-approved containers.”
Edwards said the Christmas holiday is the “heaviest” time of the year for trash.
“Residents are throwing out the old things when getting ready for Christmas,” he said. “We also go to the door on the holidays if we see the poly cart and the resident has forgotten to put it out for the holiday to try and help them out a bit. If it’s in the back yard, and we don’t see it, we will still go back to the house if they call the office the next day and tell them that they simply forgot to put the trash out. We don’t mind helping out. After all, Hinesville’s trash is our job security.”
The city of Hinesville provides residents one numbered 90-gallon roll-out cart and weekly pick-up service. In addition, the city will repair or replace damaged roll-out carts, according to cityofhinesville.org.