FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County officials are tired of talking trash and ready to do something about the issue.
On Tuesday, the county commission chose Latham Home Sanitation Co. of Loganville to pick up litter, as needed, along Hwy. 369 in north Forsyth and certain stretches of Ga. 400.
As part of the bid, which was approved 5-0 and runs through the end of the year, the county will pay $234 per mile for up to 45 miles of cleanup a month.
The bid stemmed from February, when the commission heard numerous complaints of garbage flying off trucks headed to the Eagle Point Landfill in the county’s northwest corner. Also particularly troublesome have been certain stretches of Ga. 400.
“[For Hwy. 369], that would be from Ga. 400 to the county line, which is only 11 miles. However, the bid is for one side of the highway for one mile, so that would equivilate to 22 miles,” said Tammy Wright, the county’s manager of environmental programs.
While though those corridors may be the most notorious for litter, the bid also gives Wright the discretion to use the miles on other roads should they become an issue. In addition, she can decide whether to do all 45 miles at once, or spread them out over different days.
“On average, we don’t have a litter problem,” said Wright, noting that more than 100 miles of local roads have been adopted for cleanup by groups.
“We have a relatively low litter index score. There are a couple of highways and roadways in our county that have a higher score than what we might like to have.”
Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, whose district includes the landfill, said she had previously looked into requiring trash trucks to display a hotline number on the back.
“We’ve checked into it and it can be required with their business license,” she said. “But the problem is, so many people that bring in trash from other counties, and we’d only get people in our county.”
The county also plans to use state prisoners to pick up trash, as well as inmates from the new Forsyth County Jail once it opens. Somewhat curiously, the state prisoners will clean county roads while county inmates will handle state routes.
Though picking up trash is the main focus, Wright said the county was also taking proactive measures to prevent littering.
“Enforcement is more than just catching somebody,” she said. “There are laws … that require you to have your load secured and tarped, so that’s the area of enforcement that we need to grow into is preventing not just catching someone throwing it out.”