Trash collection company goes missing, towns left holding the bag

JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST  Lonnie Burnette and Donald Lentz, who work for the Landis Public Works, joined a handful of other town employees in picking up the trash in the large curb side containers from the town's residents. The town got word from the trash pick-up contractor that the scheduled pick-up would not occur. The town stepped in to pick up the containers.
JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST Lonnie Burnette and Donald Lentz, who work for the Landis Public Works, joined a handful of other town employees in picking up the trash in the large curb side containers from the town's residents. The town got word from the trash pick-up contractor that the scheduled pick-up would not occur. The town stepped in to pick up the containers.

The future of a local garbage collection company is uncertain as its employees have reportedly been terminated and its municipal clients have been left to figure out how they’ll remove their waste.

The company, Crash Morrison Garbage Services Inc., called a few of its municipal customers Monday morning to inform them of the service interruption.


The town of Landis received a phone call from the Rockwell-based company around 8 a.m., Public Works Director Steve Rowland said.

Rowland said he was told by a company foreman that Crash Morrison would not pick up the town’s garbage as scheduled.

The explanation the foreman gave, Rowland said, was that there were some problems within the company.

A Post reporter made repeated unsuccessful attempts to reach the president of the company, Crash Morrison, via phone and email. Joanna Morrison is listed as the company’s vice president.

In 2011, the town contracted its garbage and recycling collection out to Crash Morrison and S.H.A.R.K.S. Recycling, also a Crash Morrison company.

The town used its own two trash trucks to collect the garbage before then. Once the town contracted out its garbage, the trucks were then used for limb and leaf collection.

On Monday, crews from the Landis public works and fire departments again used those town-owned trucks to pick up the trash.

Rowland said the company did not give the town any indication whether this was a one-time incident or if the town would need to use other means to collect its garbage and recycling going forward.

Linn said it would likely take longer, but he promised all of the town’s garbage would be picked up Monday.

Linn and Rowland met with town finance officer, Ginger Gibson, early Monday to establish an emergency plan for the day.

“As far as we know the plan will stay in place until” another resolution can be determined, Linn said.

Landis Town Manager Reed Linn said that as of noon Monday, he had not heard from Crash Morrison representatives.

Landis officials contacted town attorney Rick Locklear to determine what actions they can take. The board has called a special meeting Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the garbage and recycling contract.

Mayor James Furr said Monday the board will review what’s happened and where to go from there. He said the board will examine all possible options available.

Furr said the contractor “gave us absolutely no notice.”

He commended the town staff who “reacted in a great manner and allowed our citizens the service they expected.”

In 2011, Furr, then an alderman, was the sole board member who was against contracting with Crash Morrison. Furr said at the time he would like to see the town improve the efficiency of its own garbage program.

Rick Jackson, who has worked for Crash Morrison for six years, said employees were notified Sunday that “none of us would be paid” and would not have a job.

“We had a job and now we don’t,” he said.

Jackson said he’s not sure of his next move, but he promised Rockwell officials he would figure out a way to collect the town’s garbage on its next scheduled collection day, Friday. Jackson used to collect the town of Rockwell’s garbage when he worked for his father-in-law’s company, Countrywide Garbage.

Rockwell Town Clerk Sue Morton said other than difficulties in the last few years with paperwork, the town has had a great relationship with Crash Morrison.

Officials with the town of China Grove, which also contracts with Crash Morrison, said they are unsure of whether they’ll need assistance in collecting the town’s garbage.

Town Manager Ken Deal said he’s been trying to contact Morrison, who had not returned his call.

Deal said the town staff received calls from some residents who said their recycling had not been picked up last week.

The town has been under contract with the garbage company for two years and has a five-year contract.

Deal said China Grove officials might work with Landis to look at options for using its garbage trucks. But they’d prefer for Morrison’s company continue its duties.

“We hope they can get it all resolved to be back out here Wednesday,” Deal said.

He said the town will be prepared to review its contract at the end of the week if Crash Morrison does not collect the town’s garbage.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: www.twitter.com/salpostpotts Facebook: www.facebook.com/Shavonne.SalisburyPost.


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