Sanitation Services and Why I Want It

Hopefully you will agree

Sanitation Services, Environmental Services, Garbage Collection whatever name you choose to use it is a must for our new City of South Fulton (CoSF). The Mayor and Council are accepting comments regarding the issue. Send your thoughts and support to In no way should the CoSF create a new department to do this. Contracting with a service provider is the best option.

If you don’t think we need the service, visit the nearest isolated street, dead end or pre-developed subdivision. You will most likely find household garbage, tires, furniture, mattresses, etc.  It’s not a good look for any community and especially a new city seeking economic development. I shouldn’t have to tell anyone who drives around the CoSF that illegal dumping is a huge problem. It’s such a problem that pre-developed subdivisions place barriers at the entrance to stop the dumping.

I get it, some folks have been here all their lives and have never paid for garbage collection except when they venture to the Fulton County’s Merk Miles Transfer Station to throw out their kitchen trash or yard waste. Merk Miles charges $3 for up to 3 bags of household trash. Dumping once per week adds up to $12 per month not including the cost of travel and time it takes to do it.

Across Georgia comparable size cities including Augusta-Chatham, Columbus, Marietta and Macon-Bibb, have garbage collection departments. The cost of those programs which include garbage, recycling and bulk waste collection are as follows:

City/County Garbage Collection Cost/Yearly and Month
Augusta-Chatham $310.50/$25.88
Columbus $204/$17
Macon-Bibb $240/$20
Marietta $246-$273/$20.50-22.75(1)
  • Rate based on size and number of container

As the CoSF winds down its public meetings, here’s why I think we should have the service and it should be included in the property tax bill. Currently, I pay $334.92 per year for two 96-gallon containers (one container cost $251 per year). That entitles me to once per week garbage pickup, that’s it. Based on the comparable cities it’s not good. Those listed cities are getting more services for less and in one case more money. I would love to reduce my carbon footprint by recycling and have bulk waste pickup.  Basically, we are paying too much for the service we receive. The actual cost should be in the $12 per month range. That’s the number one reason I support the idea.

I suggested earlier that the cost should be included in the property tax bill. By including the cost in the property tax bill, it will ensure everyone participates in the program. This option seems to frighten folks. What it does is ensure homeowners and renters of single family homes will equally participate, helping to keep our community clean. Those living in apartments will continue to pay their landlord for the garbage collection in the complex. The city should include that cost in the landlord’s yearly property tax bill as well, dictating an approved service provider. That way the landlord can’t get away not paying the bill and creating a sanitation issue for residents.

An idea would be to lower the millage rate slightly to offset some of the cost of the yearly garbage bill and give discounts to seniors.

One thing you don’t want to do is give folks an option because it will cause an unbelievable administrative nightmare for the city. Look at the illegal dumping for an example. I’m sure someone is trying to determine whose household trash and sofa was left on the side of the road. Probably not, the County just picks it up and moves along.

Look at it this way, with a garbage collection service the burning of the family garbage each fall will cease along with the burning of the leaves which leads to more environmental issues.

At the end of the day, having a sanitation service will move our city forward and help keep South Fulton Beautiful. Your thoughts?