Screven County sanitation department employees are concerned for their jobs now that Screven County commissioners have decided to privatize garbage collection services.
The Statesboro Herald received a number of calls Thursday from people claiming to be county sanitation employees, disgruntled over news that they allegedly will be terminated by Oct. 1 when a private sanitation company takes over.
Most asked to remain anonymous, but a caller identified as Paul E. Jones said termination is not what commissioners promised in a meeting held Tuesday.
The Statesboro Herald was not present at Tuesday's Screven County commission meeting, but Sylvania Telephone editor Enoch Autry covered the meeting. In an article published Thursday, he said Commissioner John Triplett mentioned intentions to otherwise employ displaced employees.
“As for the employees whose roles currently involve waste management, those individuals are projected to be reassigned, Triplett said,” Autry wrote.
In speaking to the Statesboro Herald Thursday, Screven County Manager Rick Jordan confirmed the county’s plan to privatize the sanitation services, but declined to discuss personnel issues.
“We are working diligently to clean up our county,” he said. A private company can provide the services cheaper than the county can, he said.
But as for displaced sanitation employees, “the decision has not yet been made,” he said. “The (change to privatization) will have an impact, but I am not aware of any guarantees” to reassign employees.
Jones called the matter “hogwash.”
The sanitation department employees “were told they would be terminated, not reassigned, by Oct. 1,” he said.
Triplett told the Statesboro Herald Thursday that he also could not discuss personnel specifics, but he said there are vacancies in other departments with the county, as well as with AllGreen Services, the sanitation company expected to handle the county’s sanitation needs.
Screven County commission Chairman Will Boyd also declined to comment on personnel matters Thursday.
“I don’t talk about personnel,” he said. “I don’t recall anyone (during the commission meeting) saying they promised anybody anything. We are in the process of privatizing, and I am not sure where it is going.”
Autry reported the commission meeting included discussion about “plans to go from 60 trash collection sites down to now an estimated 16.” He said the move is “expected to save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
According to the Telephone, “Triplett said AllGreen has agreed to pay for half of the expenses that will be incurred with the installation of video cameras at each of the future sites to monitor the activity. The cameras can be used to cite individuals for illegal dumping and the devices also can be used to check on how much garbage is in the bins.”
The sites also will have lighting.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.