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The ayes have it: Trash collection town hall sees overwhelming opposition
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The huge crowd at Johnson Park Recreational Community Center show their protest of a county trash pickup service by a show-of-hands vote. - photo by Martin Rand, III

The Trash Collection Town Hall hosted by Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt was almost over before it began Tuesday evening.

A suggestion from one female Rockdale County citizen to have a show-of-hands vote before people stepped to the microphone let both Nesbitt and Post 2 Commissioner JaNice Van Ness know that citizens are still not in favor of having a county wide mandatory trash collection service.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Commissioners Richard Oden did not attend the town hall.

The resident's suggestion received showering applause from the crowd packed into a room at the Johnson Park Recreational Facility and one male citizen shouted, "That might solve this whole thing."

Well, it did.

More than 100 people attended the town hall and all of them raised their hands, and some raised both hands in protest, when Nesbitt asked who wasn't in favor the trash collection pickup?

That was all the information Nesbitt needed to squash the issue.

"My whole goal was to hear from this community," said Nesbitt said to the crowd. "As far as I'm concerned, when I walk out this door tonight it's a moot subject. It's over."

This is second town hall with the issue of county trash pickup at the center. The first town hall, July 15, at the J.P. Carr Community Center had about 30 people in attendance and they too spoke out overwhelmingly against the idea of changing the trash and recycling system.

Currently, county residents can contract with any private hauler or can make use of the county's recycling center on Sigman Road, where it is free to bring recyclables or yard debris and it costs to bring trash.

The city of Conyers has mandatory trash and recyclables pickup and recently bid those services out to a single private provider, Pratt Industries.