‘Cash’ found in trash

Published 9:11 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009

JACKSON — Northampton County Public Works is moving full steam ahead with picking up extra trash containers that are costing the county money.

“As of last night, at close of business, the Northampton County Public Works Department has picked up 310 extra containers around the county,” County Manager Wayne Jenkins reported to the Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting on Wednesday. “Those 310 containers equates to a savings, an annual savings, to the county of $54,944.”

Jenkins added that County Finance Officer Dot Vick advised the board several times in the last 24 months that the Solid Waste fund was bleeding at a rate of about $5,000 per month.

“We determined that an audit was in order and we identified over 500 containers,” he said. “I spoke briefly with (Public Works Director) Mr. (Billy) Martin this morning and we will complete this pick-up action, likely within the next 30-45 days.”

“That’s good,” Commission Chair Robert Carter responded.

Carter then suggested that the county perform a monthly audit.

Jenkins said once the Public Works Department is finished with the audit and has a corrected number that will be the new, approved baseline for Public Works and the trash pick-up service provider, Waste Industries, to adjust each month.

“It will be adjusted monthly to be audited monthly so we will not have a 12-month window we have to look through,” Jenkins said.

“I think that will be great,” said Carter.

Last month, the commissioners directed Martin and his department to pick up all extra trash cans, which was estimated to be costing the county an additional $103,686.40 a year.

The Tax Department is currently billing for 10,600 carts and an estimated 585 extra carts are in the county.