At its meeting on February 7, the Commission approved switching from quarterly to annual billing for solid waste (garbage, recycling, and yard waste) collections beginning in October 2017. Instead of paying $60 every three months, property owners will pay $240 per year, and they will be billed along with their property taxes.

Quarterly bills will be issued in April 2017 and July 2017 before the first annual bill in October 2017. That first annual bill will actually be for $300 because it will cover 15 months: the final three months of 2017 and all of 2018. The Commission approved allowing property owners who fall below the federal guidelines for poverty to be exempt from the fee. To find out if you qualify, contact the Solid Waste Department at (478) 803-0499; you must apply for that exemption by July 1 each year.

“The goal behind these changes is to make the process of getting collection services easier for people and to improve the collection rate,” says Solid Waste Director Kevin Barkley. “These are tight budget years – especially with the overall consolidated government budget being reduced 20% – and this change could mean we collect the fees already owed for services.”

For residents, they won’t have to worry about whether or not their service has been turned on; instead of having to contact a department and request service, every property in Macon-Bibb with a residential structure on it will already receive service. It’s estimated there are currently several thousand properties receiving services that are not receiving a bill; by moving to this model, every property will be charged for the services they are already receiving. 

Residents are allowed one county-approved garbage container, one recycling container, two cubic yards of containerized yard waste, and two cubic yards of bulky waste (limbs brush, vines, or furniture) picked up. No construction debris allowed. To request a garbage or recycling can, use the SeeClickFix application online or on your smart phone, or call the Solid Waste Department at (478) 803-0499.