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Posted on: December 30, 2021

FAQ - Revised Waste & Recycling Guidelines

Newsflash.Waste FAQ

 December 30, 2021

Dear Pelham Resident:

Communication has been out about our new garbage vendor and the expanded services for about two weeks, and we appreciate the residents who have contacted the City of Pelham with questions and recommendations for clarity. Using your feedback, we have updated the information and want to get this out as soon as possible. Attached to this post are two documents (1) a revised Waste and Recycling Collection Guideline sheet and (2) a flyer further illustrating what can be collected in each of your two weekly pickups. 

We are able to work through the recently created Cahaba Solid Waste Authority. One of the biggest benefits is the Authority does not have to put the contract out to bid. When these contracts are put out for bid, we are required to accept the lowest responsible bid, and that doesn’t necessarily mean we are getting the best quality provider. Some vendors will take a loss on profits for one contract knowing they can make money through other larger contracts. The City of Pelham has been paying far below the cost of service for garbage collection for the past several years, and that is exactly what we have been getting – a service far below reasonable expectations. 

You will see many increased services with our new vendor, Amwaste:

• Trash will be collected twice a week instead of once per week. The first collection will all go to the landfill and the second collection will all go to RePower South where it will be separated and reused for products and fuels. You can choose how much or how little you want to put in the landfill and how much or how little you want to send to a facility for recycle/reuse. Please do not put yard waste of any kind in the second collection of the week. 

• During the first collection of the week, Amwaste will also collect up to two cubic yards of a combination of yard waste (limbs can be up to 6 feet), bagged leaves, additional bags of garbage and household trash that a single person can carry. All these items total must fit into two cubic yards, or roughly a standard size pickup truck bed filled to the top (not overflowing). Examples of items you can put out on the first pickup are chairs, microwaves, single bed mattresses, carpet rolls, etc. No single item can weigh more than 50 pounds. 

• In addition, if you have heavy trash items, you simply place the item(s) at curbside, email or call Amwaste with your address and the types of items and approximate sizes, and they will collect these items within two business days from the date of your request. It is possible they will come the next day, so it will be important to ensure your items are at curbside before you email or call Amwaste. The email address is customercare@amwasteusa.com. The phone number is (205) 788-1400.

Through our relationship with the Cahaba Solid Waste Authority, we are able to more than double our services for less than the cost of a large pizza. You will see an increase of $9.80 to the current monthly fee, and you can use as many garbage cans as you currently have. Some typical restrictions do apply (they can’t accept televisions and computers and some of the other “normal” hazardous environmental items) These items are listed in the enclosed information.

While we have always offered back door pick at no additional charge over the monthly rate for those with certified medical needs, we had hoped to be able to offer back door service for an additional charge to those desiring this service.  However, our contract with the Authority is limited to 5% of total households for backdoor service, and we have had an overwhelming number of new medical certifications.  As a result, we are not able to offer the back door service to those without a medical necessity at this time.  

If you are unsure of your collection days, please use this route finder. Once you put in your address, a pin will drop on your home. The corresponding color will indicate your pickup days.

  • Red is Monday/Thursday
  • Yellow is Tuesday/Friday
  • Blue is Wednesday/Saturday

As with any transition, there will be growing pains as our new partner becomes familiar with our city.  We don’t expect issues to last, and we are appreciative of the patience displayed by our wonderful residents during the garbage collection crisis.  

We are asking for your help in a very important way.  A few people reached out directly to City staff when communication about the new garbage vendor came out.  These residents gave us feedback and made excellent suggestions which we have immediately incorporated into our communication.  Many others turn to social media avenues that the City of Pelham does not have the staff or time to monitor, and we remain unaware of this feedback and frustration.  The City has gone to great lengths to create several platforms to communicate with our residents and for you to communicate with us.  Those platforms include our official City of Pelham Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, NextDoor, Request Tracker (though the City of Pelham website) and email.  The best way to get results is to communicate directly with the City through any of these platforms.  If you don’t receive expected response using any of these communication vehicles, please email the City Manager, Gretchen DiFante, at gdifante@pelhamalabama.gov.  

Your City of Pelham staff has been working through the impact of two floods, a tornado, the garbage crisis, ever-changing COVID-19 regulations and an impacted workforce.  If a City employee is not responsive, it is not that we don’t care.   In fact, we continue to work diligently, through holidays and weekends to figure out ways to deliver on the services our residents, businesses and visitors should expect while navigating what seems to be a new normal for right now.  You are our partners in this endeavor, and we need you to help us help you by letting us know the problems you see and where the breakdowns are in communication.  

Sincerely,

The City of Pelham

 REVISED Waste  Recycling Guidelines 123021

**REVISED** WASTE & RECYCLING GUIDELINES

For full details, please see the Waste & Recycling Guidelines included in the above graphic.

Effective the week of January 3, 2022, Amwaste will collect your trash twice a week on the dates listed on the previous mailing.

Here are some important notes:

  • Amwaste has acquired the carts from your current service provider. Continue to use your existing cart for service. Amwaste will rebrand your cart(s) with the Amwaste logo in 2022.
  • It is no longer necessary to separate recycling and waste. You may place all materials in the same cart.
  • If your cart needs repair, submit a “Garbage Bin Damaged” ticket to the Pelham online Request Tracker or call (205) 788-1400.
  • Backdoor collection for medically certified customers will continue without interruption. To setup or confirm service, please email water@pelhamalabama.gov, or call (205) 620-6420.

HEAVY TRASH PICKUP:

Please contact Amwaste to schedule a pickup at (205) 788-1400, or email customercare@amwasteusa.com. Please have your items on the curb before you call Amwaste. Pickups will be made within two business days.

HEAVY TRASH ITEMS ACCEPTED:

Rolled carpet · glass doors (glass must be broken and placed in a cardboard box) ·alkaline · manganese and carbon-zinc batteries · florescent bulbs · household amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers · moving boxes (broken down) · packing materials (bagged) · appliances (refrigerated appliances require a Freon removal tag issued by a certified technician) · mattresses · furniture · paint cans with dried paint

HEAVY TRASH ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED:

Construction debris · blocks · concrete · piles of dirt · tile · tires · more than household amounts of hazardous waste · car batteries · large car parts (engines, rotors, etc.) · landscape or railroad cross ties · medical waste · needles · animal carcasses · paint cans with wet paint · E-waste (televisions, computers, monitors, etc.)

*This is not an exhaustive list.  If you have questions or are unsure, email water@pelhamalabama.gov or call (205) 620-6420 for clarification.

 Amwaste appreciates the opportunity to serve the City of Pelham!

Garbage Collection Infographic.123021

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