New garbage truck

One of the Leflore County Solid Waste Department’s new garbage trucks practices collecting garbage in the Leflore County Civic Center parking lot on Friday.

Leflore County garbage collection just got an upgrade.

The county’s Solid Waste Department has acquired through a lease purchase two new garbage trucks with a price tag of $210,000 each.

On Jan. 13, the Board of Supervisors approved the emergency lease purchase, due to a reduction in prison inmate labor. Increasing violence in Mississippi prisons, some of which led to deaths of inmates, has triggered a lockdown across several prisons.

The trucks will be financed through a bank; which bank will be determined at the supervisors’ meeting on Monday.

Jimmy Gibson, director of the Solid Waste Department, and Leflore County Supervisor Robert Collins were unsure how many years the lease would be for. They estimated at least five.

“The trucks will be all right, but the arms will have to be reworked in seven or eight years,” Gibson said.

Each truck has a mechanical arm that lifts garbage cans off the street and into the truck. This upgrade in technology helps keep workers out of the elements, Gibson added. “This is why we stress so hard on collecting garbage fees — so we can get better equipment like this,” Collins said.

The county has faced a growing problem of unpaid  garbage bills, which have reached an estimated figure of at least $1.3 million.

Gibson said workers from the Solid Waste Department will be placing fliers at homes with detailed instructions on how to position garbage cans.

“Please place cans with numbers facing the road, as close to the road as possible,” Gibson said. “Make sure they’re 5 to 10 feet away from obstacles, such as cars and utility poles.”

He also said that if people repeatedly fail to follow instructions, their houses will be passed up, and their garbage won’t be collected.

Gibson said that they are aiming to roll out the new trucks this Monday. “It’s going to be slow at first, but we want to get them out there,” he said.

“Over time we’ll probably phase some more in with these,” Collins said. “That’s where the future will be, just like we’re doing now.”

Contact Kerrigan Herret at 581-7233 or kherret@gwcommonwealth.com.

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