3 things you need to know about recycling in Macon-Bibb County with pickup problem

Editor’s note: This story is part of a Middle Georgia housing series by Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism with partners 13WMAZ,  The Macon Telegraph, and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

MACON, Ga. — Bibb County is looking for solutions to its trash recycling problems. Monday, even Mayor Lester Miller pitched in–riding on the backs of trucks and picking up recyclables.

The mayor says he plans for the county to be completely caught up with recyclables this week.

Ashlyn Webb spoke to County Manager Keith Moffett about people’s recycling options and the big push to get caught up.

1. County, Waste Management only option for curbside recycling pick up right now

Moffett says, right now, the county and its contracted company, Waste Management, are the only options for curbside recycling pickup. Before the staffing shortage, Waste Management was responsible for recycling pickup, but beginning Monday, the county had to step in to help.

“Unfortunately, the curbside is a little slow, but we’re making strides this week and in the coming weeks to do a better job of picking it up at the curbside,” Moffett said.

Bibb County began to send its own trucks out on Monday to pick up recycling around the county.

“You ought to be able to put it out on Sunday and either Advanced will pick it up during that week or we will pick it up as Macon-Bibb. We’re trying to get through the week as quickly as possible in our different respective areas,” Moffett said.

2. You can drop off your recyclables at certain fire stations

But if your recycling is overflowing, and you can’t wait any longer for the county or Waste Management to pick it up, you can drop it off at six locations where the county has set out temporary bins.

The locations are the fire stations on Coliseum Drive, Jones Road, Riverside Drive, Price Road, First Street, and Napier Avenue.

But to get your recycling to those locations, you have to load it into your car and physically drop it off yourself. Moffett acknowledged it as an inconvenience.

“But recycling is good for society, so we ask that you continue to recycle,” Moffett said.

Other than the county’s options, there are private recycling companies where you can drop off metal recycling for money.

3. A private company will help with pick up in late July

Mayor Lester Miller announced last week that Ryland Environmental, a company the county is bringing in to help with recycling pickup, will start work on July 26. Miller says the company will be directed to areas that need the most help.

So where does your recycling go when or if it’s picked up by Waste Management? Moffett says Waste Management takes your recyclables to their transfer station on Riggins Mill Road. There, it’s transferred to a facility in Milledgeville where it’s sorted, distributed, or sold.

We reached out to Waste Management for an update on their staffing shortage on Monday. They did not respond.