New Henry County trash system picks up efficiency

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HENRY COUNTY, Ala. (WTVY) -- The Henry County Sanitation Department picks up about 4,200 customers' garbage cans every week. They do it with two guys on one truck, manually lifting trash for each customer, but in two weeks that will change.

There will be a new system for Henry County Residents, starting July 8th and county leaders say it's safer, faster, and saves money.

"This one opens the arm and this one closes the arm, and that's all there is to it," said Jerry Whitehead, Henry County Sanitation Supervisor practicing with one of the county's new garbage collection trucks.

"We are very excited, we are going from a system where we lift cans by hand and put them in the rear of a truck which is very labor intensive to this automotive arm doing it for us," said Whitehead.

The new trucks only require one employee to operate from inside the truck, eliminating the worker who had to ride on the back of the truck.

Probate Judge David Money says it eliminates a big safety hazard, and in the process will save the county money.

"We have not had any fatalities as far as I can account for, associated with sanitation pickup. Neighboring counties have had that - that's tragic - the worst part is the loss of life but secondary to that, the citizens end up paying for it because of the increase of insurance premiums," said Money.

The new system will also make trash pickup more uniform and ensure that only those who are paying, benefit from it.

"If it is not this Henry County blue can with the Henry County logo on it, then we will bypass it. It's just a little way to recuperate lost funds," said Money.

The new system will also speed up current operations.

"The trucks are at capacity right now they are getting full at the end of the day and in some cases don't hold the entire route, this truck is bigger and will hold all our routes," said Whitehead.

Every blue can has a microchip just in case it's stolen and for the county to know exactly which cans have been picked up. The total cost for garbage pickup in Henry County will increase one dollar a month, but that won’t go into effect until September.