LaFayette considers new waste management company

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2021

At Monday night’s meeting, the LaFayette City Council learned about a relatively new waste management company, 121 Disposal Company, that they could possibly contract with.

Tyler Hearin, one of the company’s owners, said it was founded in about 2019. Hearin said it was locally owned and operated.

“One thing we saw is there weren’t a lot of options in this area,” he said. “There weren’t a lot of options in Auburn or Opelika. There were not a lot of options all the way from LaGrange to Montgomery, and the consolidation within our industry was creating even more of a mess.”

Hearin said that companies combining with each other have left municipalities like LaFayette with only one option to turn to.

He said his company aims to be transparent, communicate well, and serve local municipalities.

“When we originally started 121 Disposal, we primarily focused on the construction industry as well as the industrial industry,” he said. “And here, in this past year, we’ve moved into the commercial space, and we’ve just now begun the process to move into the residential on larger scales.”

121 Disposal Company is currently located in Opelika.

“Currently, we’re servicing all the way from Columbus, Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama to LaGrange to Montgomery,” Hearin said.

Hearin said his company plans to use only trucks with mechanical arms for safety reasons.

City Attorney Joseph Tucker said the city’s current contractor doesn’t allow commercial pickup at all.

“We have a lot of small businesses that don’t create any more waste than a residential,” he said. “Are your contracts exclusively residential, exclusively commercial, or would you look at possibly bidding both services under certain conditions?”

Hearin answered that his company bids for all services and that the only ones it can’t handle are hazardous materials.

In another part of the meeting, Councilmember Tammie Williams said the city was still receiving complaints about the city’s waste management provider, Waste Management not picking up trash. She said the company wasn’t completely emptying trash cans and that one week her trash was only half emptied, and another week, it wasn’t picked up.

Tucker said he had recently seen trash cans in the road and in the middle of people’s driveways.

“They have a serious problem with the way they’re providing services right now,” Tucker said.

Williams recalled an accident someone had when a can was in the road. She said the driver had to choose between hitting the can or hitting an oncoming car, so she hit the can.

Tucker said the council could go over their contract with Waste Management at their next meeting.

In other business at the meeting, Councilmember Toney Thomas complained that the Chambers County School system charges the city money for people to use CCSD facilities. He referred to a mutual use agreement from CCSD Superintendent Casey Chambley. He said that the city has had a mutual agreement with CCSD for years and that the city doesn’t charge CCSD for a lot of things it does for them.

“He’s not hurting the mayor and council,” Thomas said. “He’s hurting the kids, the citizens of LaFayette.”

Councilmember Tammie Williams said she didn’t agree with the fees either. She said a parking lot across the street from a football field belongs to the city, and CCSD charges cars to park there. Additionally, she said the fact that emergency services workers assist Chambers County Schools during games should be taken into consideration. She said it costs $1,000 to use a field and $1,000 per year to use the high school gym.

“We’re losing over $1,000 with each one of our employees at the games,” she said. “So, if he’s going to do this, it [doesn’t] come without something coming from the city.”

Thomas said the city had helped with CCSD playing fields through activities such as maintenance and putting up scoreboards.

“I received a phone call today from … I’m not going to their name, but I did receive a phone call from one of the commissioners,” said Mayor Kenneth Vines. “They were aware of it. I advised them we just received [the mutual use agreement] this morning … I was pretty much told that somewhere down the line that they’re going to have a conference with him.”

In other business, City Clerk Louis Davidson announced that a public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, to consider the LaFayette Planning Commission’s recommendation to allow a liquor/package store in the B-3 Zoning District.

“It’s an extremely important meeting,” he said. “It started based off one individual that actually wanted to do that. And then, I guess a consultation with Attorney Tucker … We determined that we did not have that in our zone ordinance at all, so we need to actually change the zoning ordinance instead of dealing with one individual customer.”