City Commissioners to Discuss Solid Waste Authority Resolution

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Dothan city commissioners will tackle what's become a controversial situation at tomorrow's meeting, the city's relationship with a government-run solid waste company.

The Southeast Alabama Solid Waste Disposal Authority has been operating in Houston, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Barber counties for ten years.

Their service includes the City of Dothan, where the authority picks up commercial garbage from businesses.

"The City of Dothan does not provide commercial garbage. The City of Dothan picks up residential garbage by itself, and recyclable and we also operate the landfill but commercial is picked up by private entities or other garbage companies,” City Manager Mike West said.

Alabama state law requires waste removal companies to get a resolution from cities before collecting garbage, but in this case that didn't happen.

“That in my opinion is a major problem because they've now been competing in this area for many years and have now developed relationships with people here and are now at risk because they didn't do what they were supposed to have done back ten years ago," District 6 City Commissioner, Hamp Baxley said.

The Dothan City Commission will vote on the resolution Tuesday, but not everyone is happy it took ten years to do so.

"What they've done is, they've moved into an area in my opinion which they were never supposed to be a part of and that's commercial waste disposal and collection. They've also, there's no question, moved into Dothan which has never been a part of the authority, and never will be a part of the authority for the past ten years and have done nothing but operate an illegal business against private companies,” Baxley said.

"This is a government entity. It is tax subsidized, it's operated by government agencies and what it does is, they don't pay taxes, they don't pay gas taxes, they're even immune from safety regulations," Baxley said.

"I think that's the main thing is determining whether or not and under what requirements the solid waste authority can do business in the city of Dothan," County Commissioner Mark Culver said.

Regardless of the outcome, City Manager Mike West says businesses will be able to choose their provider.