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R.E.S. Charged For Orphaned Garbage Cans

By David Howell

COFFEEVILLE – After a dozen-year relationship with Resourceful Environ-mental Services (R.E.S.) ended in March, the $18,005.40 assessed to the company for leaving hundreds of garbage cans behind seems almost generous.
    At least that’s what several supervisors told R.E.S. representative Brady White during the “first Monday” supervisor meeting held in Coffeeville.
    The $18,005.40 fee was based on the labor and equipment used in each beat to pick up the garbage cans left behind when the company’s contract with the county for curbside garbage pickup ended in March.
    That fee was deducted from the last bill submitted by R.E.S. for garbage service in March, leaving the county’s final check to the company for $14,025.13.
    “I guess the bottom line at this point is we will pay the difference,” Board Attorney John Crow advised in Monday’s meeting.
    That last check comes after county officials have repeatedly complained about service from R.E.S. for almost two years. When the contract expired earlier this month to pick up garbage weekly at almost 3,000 residences across the county, R.E.S. was not awarded a new contract after Waste Management submitted the lowest bid.
    Although White had not worked in the county for his company during much of this problematic time period, he caught the parting comments Monday.
    ‘“I just don’t know if you realize how much absolute grief I have had with this garbage issue. In my opinion, 85 percent of it is attributable to R.E.S. I just can’t say enough. This amount seems small,” McMinn said about the money withheld from the company.
    “Very conservative,” Board President Tommy Vaughn added.
    “Our poor garbage lady has absolutely been through hell,” Vaughn also told White.
    “I feel bad for my guys out there picking up cans. We had buzzards circling out there,” McMinn continued, referring to the condition of the garbage that had not been picked up in the final weeks of March.
    County officials pin-pointed a R.E.S. garbage truck break-down in the third week of March that led to some customers not having garbage pickup for more than two weeks before Waste Management started picking up trash in April.

Disposing Of The Cans
    The hundreds of cans picked up by county workers are scattered across county barns in each beat and supervisors are weighing options on how best to dispose of them.
    At least three supervisors agreed Monday to donate their R.E.S. cans to the City of Water Valley.
    McMinn and Vaughn both said they had talked to city officials at Water Valley, but had not received an answer about using the cans in town.
    “I would certainly be willing to give them my cans. I know the city does not have cans and they have some situations where they have garbage sitting on the side of the road in all these homemade containers and crates,” McMinn said.
    “I don’t think there would be enough to get everybody a can in town,” Vaughn said.
    “But it would be a good head start,” McMinn said.
    “They could have mine, if they wanted them,” Vaughn added.
    “They could have mine, too,” District 2 Supervisor Amos Sims agreed.
    Another option discussed at Monday’s meeting was selling the cans to a company.

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