Newton County residents wanting to throw away their trash at one of the 11 Newton County Neighborhood Recycling Centers were required to show proof of purchase starting Tuesday, Oct. 25, when a new $50 fee was officially put into effect.
The proof of purchase came in the form of a hang tag which can be displayed on the rear view mirror of a car. The required date for the tags has been pushed back several times, but was officially required Tuesday.
Greg Pickett, who has lived in Newton County since he was 3-years-old, was one of the many people who stopped by the Highway 36 convenience center Tuesday afternoon with a tag displayed on his vehicle. He said he thought the county went about the change in policy the wrong way. He did not mind paying to use the trash services and does not want the convenience centers to close.
Junior Rutledge, the attendant at the Hazelbrand Road center, said he did not have any complaints about the tags. He is familiar with the majority of the people who come to the center, having worked there for six years, and if they did not already have a tag he provided them with the information to purchase a tag.
However, William Akins, attendant at the Highway 212 location, said it seemed like the traffic at his convenience center was down by half. He said the main issue was the lack of information provided to the residents prior to the tags taking effect. Each center was provided with a handout to provide residents, but Akins said he was out by Tuesday.
According to the handout, it costs citizens $43.55 per month per household to use and support the operations of the convenience centers and $42.66 per ton of waste to manage the solid waste stream for the remaining life of the landfill. The centers contribute to the operating deficit, costing $9.30 per ton to operate.
The convenience centers are located throughout the county and are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. A list of location addresses can be found at http://www.co.newton.ga.us/departments/landfill/recycling-centers.