Kevin Vienneau, senior planner for the Coastal Regional Development Center, said the plan would includes addressing source reduction, reuse and recycling efforts.
“You reduce the source of the solid waste before it becomes something you have to recycle,” Vienneau said. “I think you have to give Liberty County credit for a lot of newspaper recycling.”
The county recycled 294,000 tons of newspaper in 2008, residential and commercial, according to Vienneau.
He also commended Keep Liberty County Beautiful for its year-around campaigns, especially the recent Return the Warmth campaign.
“You‘ve got some companies in the area that do a good job in recycling,” Vienneau added, mentioning Interstate Paper’s 105,850 tons of recycled cardboard SNF Chemtall’s 1,430 tons of wood in 2008.
“What they’re doing is a diversity solid waste from landfill disposal which is what the state wants them to do.”
“My trash doesn’t build up that much,” Johnson said. “I wouldn’t mind having a cart instead of bringing the trash down here all the time.”
Debra Varnadoe Ellison agreed.
“If they had the trashman come through and get them, it would be better for me,” she said.
However, poly cart curbside service for unincorporated Liberty County isn’t expected to begin any time soon.
Liberty County Solid Waste Department Director Dave Sapp said there just aren’t enough vehicles to offer the service. He indicated the location of and distance between the homes would mean more time and money expended by his department.
“It’s not like you’re servicing the houses in Hinesville -- they’re right on top of each other,” Sapp said. “That doesn’t make for an effective collection process.”
At $55 per receptacle, poly carts aren’t the only things making service for an additional 10,000 residents an expensive option.
The rear-loader garbage trucks, similar to Hinesville’s, run about $150,000-$180,000. Associated costs include salaries for drivers and collectors.
The county’s seven municipalities are working on improving how waste is disposed of through a joint solid waste management plan. The state-mandated plan will set goals for the next 10 years.
“Within the next five to 10 years, we may do it earlier … we’re looking at providing poly cart service to all municipalities in Liberty County for curbside pick-up,” Sapp said.
Kevin Vienneau, senior planner for the Coastal Regional Development Center in Brunswick, has been helping the county draft its plan since October. After the plan is finalized, it goes to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
The Coastal Regional Development Center has helped other counties get management plans together and Vienneau said every county does not offer curbside pickup for all residents.
“I think it is not abnormal to have drop-off convenience centers. That’s not unusual for a rural area,” he said. “I suppose when a jurisdiction becomes a little more metropolitan and more populated, more services are contemplated based on demand.”
The county’s 12 centers were strategically placed, according to Sapp.
“We hope they are conveniently located for the residents to be able to use on their way shopping, on their way to work … So, as they transit the highway system in Liberty County, they’re not going to have to go out of their way, extraordinarily, to get rid of their waste or recyclables,” he said.
Unlike Liberty County’s old dumpster sites, which were often overrun with trash, the centers are gated and only open 12 hours a day.
“The benefit is, we reduce our cost for the collection because we don’t have to go door-to-door to pick up the waste,” Sapp said of the convenience centers. “The majority of the population of Liberty County, less the city of Hinesville, are using those facilities.”
Required in the management plan is an assurance the county’s solid waste has somewhere to go.
“There has to be some contingency for collection and disposal in the event, for some reason, it gets interrupted,” Vienneau said.
“We have to make sure we have a capacity to get rid of the garbage generated by the residents of Liberty County,” Sapp said.
The county has been using Broadhurst, a regional landfill in Wayne County, for the past five and half years and recently renewed the contract for another five years.
Liberty County is putting 41,000 tons into the landfill, and future growth is projected to produce more.
“We had estimated in our last solid waste management review that we’d be at about 38,000 tons at this time,” Sapp said. He thinks the county will work up to 75,000 tons by the end of 10 years.
The public can see the draft plan during a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 19.
“Most of what’s going to be discussed is the general current situation and what is suggested to be where we wanted to make changes in the program,” Sapp said.