Garbage collection will go from residents’ backyards to the front curb beginning this July, unless a property owner meets an exemption, according to a policy the Southern Pines Town Council approved Tuesday.
The switch to curbside pick-up comes with the town’s 18-month extended contract with GFL Environmental, the town’s waste contractor since 2013.
The current contract will expire in June. When town staff reached out for new contracts for garbage, recycling and yard debris services in the fall, only GFL responded in time with a new five-year contract. But because it included increased rates and reduced services for residents, the council began discussions around moving waste collection in-house.
After hiring consultant David Harvell with the Davenport Lawrence consulting firm to identify the best options for the town’s waste services, he noted that the short time frame before the current contract's expiration date did not give the town enough time to decide on moving in-house or changing its services.
He negotiated with GFL to extend its contract, allowing the town to continue considering other options, but it also meant back-door services would go away.
Southern Pines is the only place in Moore County that offers back-door services. The standard across the country is curbside pick-up, according to an official town statement from Assistant Manager Jessica Roth.
“This change is necessary for the safety of our haulers and to offer quality, efficient service at a price point to which residents are accustomed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and have resources available to assist,” the statement read.
Residents can apply for an exemption if they have a medical condition or physical restrictions preventing them from bringing items to the curb. Residents who live with someone capable of moving garbage to the curb do not qualify for the exemption.
Roth said residents do not need to re-apply if they already have an approved exemption and that those exemptions will be valid through June 30, 2024. Residents will then have to re-apply every year, given that some exemptions may be for temporary situations.
Roth created a question-and-answer page on the town’s website with additional information. It's under the “Town Services” tab and called “Trash, Recycling & Yard Debris.”
Hard copies of the exemption form are available in the Community Development building, 801 SE Service Road and the Finance and Utility Billing building, 180 SW Broad St.
For more information, contact Public Works staff at (910) 692-1983.
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