Advanced Disposal contract up for discussion

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Tony Sidebotham, Advanced Disposal Operations Manager for the North Georgia Area, met with the Board of Commissioners (BOC) recently to discuss the terms of the upcoming waste disposal contract renewal.

The current contract was signed and agreed upon 2016, and is up for renewal on Sept. 1 of this year. According to the current contract the county must give Advanced Disposal 180 day notice if there are requests for changes or negotiation discussions that need to take place.

Currently Fannin County pays $54.16 per ton for waste disposal, and in the current contract this price is subject to increase by three percent annually. Advanced Disposal has approximately 150 to 170 tons of waste that move through their facilities daily.

“So your company hasn’t gotten to a point to where you felt like it would be fair not to utilize the three percent increase?” Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson questioned and added that at the current rate the county will be paying close to $60.00 per ton by the end of another 3 year contract. “$60.00 per ton is quite a bit higher than surrounding areas.”

Sidebotham explained that the three percent increase covers his cost of operations. He told commissioners that not only does pricing go up for the services Advanced Disposal utilizes but he also has to consider his employees and their raise requests and benefits.

Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton questioned how Fannin County’s pricing compares to those of surrounding counties.

“It’s hard to compare contract to contract,” Sidebotham replied and explained that each county has different needs and different circumstances.

One of the circumstances affecting the pricing in Fannin County is that with the exception of the Aska Road facility, which is county owned property, Advanced Disposal owns its own properties in the county.

Helton further questioned, “Is it feasible to look, if we own one facility of having a different rate at the place we own?”

Sidebotham replied that anything is up for discussion, and acknowledged the Union County does have different pricing because the county owns its own facilities.

“It’s going to hard because they own their facilities and in other counties they (the counties) own their facilities, so in the years past these contracts, being as they own the only transfer station in the county, our rates are automatically going to be higher,” Johnson expressed his opinion on what drives the pricing higher for our area.

Johnson also pointed out that when the contract was last up for renewal Advanced Disposal was the only bidder: “We’re where we’re at because there’s one company. You can’t get a competing price when no one else will bid.”

Johnson pointed out that Fannin County only allows for one transfer company to be present. He feels that this also plays a role in being unable to obtaining competing pricing.

Glass recycling was also discussed as it has been a concern for numerous residents since the option of recycling glass was discontinued.

As for now it looks like the possibility of this recycling option will not return to Fannin County. Sidebotham explains, “The easiest way I can explain it is, there’s no easy way to recycle glass now a days. For companies that recycle glass the most profitable way to make a return on it is to sort it by color and so to do that you need a large area of space, a large area to heat the glass. And then the shipping of it, there’s no returns on it. Even recyclers that we use, they’ve all gone away. There’s no place for us to get rid of the glass.”

A glass recycling facility in Pa. shows the large property needed to accommodate this type of recycling.

Advanced Disposal and their employees have taken proactive steps to become a positive impact on the community during the current contract.
Recently the business agreed to extend holiday hours in an effort to help Fannin County with their unique circumstances that causes an influx of visitors during these time.

Previously the waste disposal facilities in Fannin County were closed six days a year in observance of different holidays. Advanced Disposal agreed to open half days for three of these major holidays (Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Memorial Day) and only remain closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year day.

Advanced Disposal has also donated dumpsters and containers for community clean up events, and have recently agreed to pick up certain colored garbage bags from sides of roadways where litter collection has taken place.

The Fannin County Fire Department also benefits from the collection of aluminum cans at the Advanced Disposal sites. 100 percent of proceeds from these collections go to fund the fire department’s educational outreach programs.

A full time litter personnel was recently hired and will soon be seen in Fannin County two days a week to help combat the ongoing litter issue.

Sidebotham expressed that he would continue efforts at the facilities to hold trash haulers responsible for securing their loads. He explained that aside from having clear signage posted pertaining to the law, with first time offenders he often will have them pull to the side and secure their load before being allowed to tip.

“I have found that sometimes the inconvenience of having to do that, you know taking an extra 10 – 15 minutes, the next time they come through they would know that it has to be secured,” Sidebotham said of the effect the effort has on those pulled aside.

A new scale house will be seen at the Hwy. 60 waste disposal facility. The scalehouse will be placed to allow direct and immediate contact between Advanced Disposal personnel and drivers. This move will help to combat the issue of unsecured loads as well, as it can be addressed immediately upon the vehicle entering the scales.

While negotiations are expected to take place concerning the current waste disposal contract, all three commissioners acknowledged the work being done by Advanced Disposal in Fannin County and showed appreciation for the company’s willingness to get involved.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at


Natalie Kissel

GoCo donates receptacles for city to use during Georgia Cities Week

Community, News

[Featured image: Pictured are, from left to right: Jeff Stewart, city zoning; Glenda Herndon, city hall receptionist; Robbie Cornelius, city councilwoman; Kelsey Ledford, city clerk; Josh Golden, owner of GoCo; Donna Whitener, mayor; Becky Harkins, water and utilities director; Barbie Gerald, clerk of court, Sally Smith, city taxes and licensing; and Alicia Stewart, finance director.]

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – GoCo recently donated four trash receptacles to the city of Blue Ridge to use during Georgia Cities Week April 22 through 28. With the two dumpsters previously by Advanced Disposal, the city has six trash receptacles for residents to use during Georgia Cities Week.

As a part of a citywide clean-up to celebrate the week, residents are asked to bring any waste or trash except for items containing Freon, liquid paint or tires to three area locations:

  • Blue Ridge Farmer’s Market (only small brush and bagged leaves in the Advanced Disposal container);
  • Kiwanis Fairgrounds; and
  • First Baptist Church of Blue Ridge parking lot on the corner of Church and East First streets.

Two other locations – Blue Ridge City Hall and the Ada Street, LLC property near Hampton Square –  have containers in which small brush and bagged leaves can be disposed.

The city of Blue Ridge would like to thank the following people and organizations for their help with this clean-up during Georgia Cities Week: Josh and Erin Golden with GoCo, Richie Walker with Advanced Disposal, the Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club, First Baptist Church of Blue Ridge, and the property owners of Ada Street, LLC.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at


Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Jump start your career: Advanced Disposal job fair in Dawsonville March 29


Fannin County Fire Department responds to multiple fires

Featured, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County Emergency Response Teams responded to several fire-related calls over the weekend and into early Monday morning.

On Saturday evening, the Fannin County Fire Department (FCFD) responded to a 9:12 p.m. call of a residential fire at a rental cabin on 885 Brittney Dr. in Epworth. Crews arrived on scene at 9:34 p.m.

According to Fire Chief Larry Thomas, the fire began in an outside chimney and quickly spread to endanger the house. Fourteen firefighters along with three engines and two tankers were able to contain the fire to the chimney.

No injuries were sustained as a result of the incident, Thomas said.

FetchYourNews, Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Mineral Springs Apartments, Fire, Larry Thomas

Miner Springs Apartments fire. Photo Courtesy of Kelly Wisner.

Later in the weekend, FCFD was dispatched to a report of a fire located at the Mineral Springs apartment complex at 3:46 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26.

Kelly Wisner, a resident of Mineral Springs Apartments, recounted the events that took place that afternoon. “I had just woken up from a nap and looked out my window,” Wisner explained. “I saw smoke and told my husband the building across from us was on fire. We immediately got on our shoes and split.”

Kelly Wisner and her husband, Jason Wisner, ran to the building that was on fire and adjacent buildings to warn residents of the fire and the need to evacuate and move their vehicles. Kelly Wisner also placed a call to 911 during this time.

Meanwhile, Jason Wisner ran into the building that was aflame and banged on doors alerting everyone to get out. Kelly Wisner, when speaking of her husband’s courageous act, said, “He doesn’t look at himself as a hero. He just says that he did what anyone would do.”

Chief Thomas stated the fire started on the back deck of a ground floor unit. Thomas said, “The fire traveled up the wall to the second floor and into the attic. We were able to put the fire out in the apartment that it had engulfed and put the fire out in the attic.”

According to a representative with Mineral Springs Apartments, three units suffered damaged due to the fire. All units in the building, however, must remain vacated until an inspection can be done and power is restored.

In addition to the residents who got out of the building safely, FCFD also reports that they were able to rescue six cats, one pet snake and one pet canary.

FCFD also responded to a fire located at the Open Arms home. A call came in at 8:36 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, and units were on scene within 18 minutes.

Open Arms is a nonprofit organization for children who have been abused or neglected. The program offers a number of services including short-term residential care.

According to a post made on Open Arms Facebook page:

“It’s with a sad heart that I inform you that around 8:30 p.m. last night (Sunday Night) a fire occurred at the Open Arms Home for Children. All of our girls and staff got out of the home safely and unharmed but our home is most likely a complete loss.”

It went on to say:

“God spared our girls and staff tonight. A few hours later and they all might have been in a deep sleep and the outcome could have been much more devastating.”

A state investigator was on the scene of the Open Arms home fire for suspected arson. Captain Justin Turner with the Fannin County Sheriff’s Department was able to confirm that the fire was intentionally set and a juvenile is currently in custody.

The case remains an open investigation.

At 1:49 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27, FCFD responded to the scene of a truck fire at Advanced Disposal located at 10169 Lakewood Hwy. in Mineral Bluff.

One of Advanced Disposal’s compactor trucks had caught fire. The cause of the fire is undetermined and currently still under investigation.

No one was injured during this fire. The compactor truck suffered significant damage and damage to other vehicles parked nearby was also reported .


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at


Natalie Kissel

No More Glass Recycling in Fannin County


As of Sept. 1st, Advanced Disposal  is no longer accepting glass recycling at its Fannin County locations.  This decision follows a drop in profits nationwide from glass recycling. The Wall Street Journal reported in August 2015 that municipal waste companies are ending glass recycling programs because the amount of trash ending up among discarded bottles and jars is making it to expensive to recycle the glass (read article here).

FetchYourNews twice contacted Advanced Disposal for an official comment about whether this decision is specific to Fannin County’s new waste contract or if it is a nationwide company decision.  Advanced Disposal did not return the calls.

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