By Gail H.M. Brown, Ph.D.,
A few Jackson residents on Robinwood Place in Northpointe Village possibly did not hear the broadcasted notice of no garbage collection, Monday, Aug. 30, due to Hurricane Ida. They put their garbage out.
One ponders the questions: What if Monday was the only contracted collection day for the week, would residents have to wait an entire week for the next pick up?
A recommendation was brought before the City Council in August that included a once per week collection service by a global company named, FCC Environmental Services, LLC. In a special council meeting, on Aug. 19, the Jackson City Council voted down the company’s proposal, for the second time. The first time was Aug. 9. The Aug. 19 order for the renegotiated contract read as follows:
ORDER AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO EXECUTE THE CONTRACT AND RELATED DOCUMENTS WITH FCC ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, LLC TO PROVIDE SOLID WASTE COLLECTION AND HAULING SERVICES FOR A SIX (6) YEAR TERM COMMENCING OCTOBER 1, 2021 WITH FOUR (4) ONE (1) YEAR EXTENSION OPTIONS (ALL WARDS)
The vote was 3 in favor, and 4 against, the same as it was for the initial order during Aug. 9th’s special council meeting. According to records, Council Member Angelique Lee moved for adoption; Council Member Brian C. Grizzell seconded.
The yeas were Grizzell, Ward 4; Lee, Ward 2; and Council President Virgi Lindsay, Ward 7. The nays were Council Members Aaron Banks, Ward 6; Ashby Foote, Ward 1; Vernon Hartley, Ward 5; and Kenneth Stokes, Ward 3. There were no absences.
So now, the mayor and his administration are negotiating with the second lower bidder which is the current company, Waste Management, Inc. Its current contract expires Sept. 30.
However, according to Councilman Aaron Banks, as of Tuesday evening, Aug. 31, the council had not heard anything from those negotiations.
“It is important that we make sure that the cities WSBA and Sanitation collections are performing adequately, to provide the best services for Jackson residents,” Banks recently told The Mississippi Link.
“In addition, the RFP [Request for Proposal] should have never contained a once a week option; we need twice a week pick up,” Banks added.
“I, Cheryl Brown, resident and citizen of Ward 6, South Jackson, am in agreement with the majority votes by/of our city council to keep the garbage two day a week pickup the same, and keep the garbage company that we are already in business with,” Brown shared in a statement to The Mississippi Link.
“I am accustomed to the two times a week pickup, specifically because in our home we accumulate a huge amount of trash daily and once a week pickup in my opinion, would be disastrous. My husband and I are on a fixed income and to increase fees would cause us additional financial hardship. I am certain that there are numerous citizens who probably fall in the same category and would undergo similar circumstances.”
Willie C. Woodard Jr., who lives in Ward 4, shared similar concerns about the issue. However, he said it “agitated” him at the thought of a once a week collection.
Asked whether he has ever known there to be a once per week pickup in the city, the lifelong native of Jackson responded, “No, never.” “Waste would be piling up, and it attracts rodents,” he said.
“There’s an old saying that comes to my mind, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Brown.
In a last week Northside Sun article, Council President Lindsay is reported as fearing that “we are out of time.”
Efforts were made today by The Mississippi Link to reach the mayor and his communication team for an update on the negotiations. Just in before presstime was this response from Michelle Atoa, communications director:
“There are no new updates to share yet since the last council meeting on the subject.”