COUNTY STILL WORKING OUT MINOR BUGS IN SOLID-WASTE BILLING PROGRAM

COUNTY STILL WORKING OUT MINOR BUGS IN SOLID-WASTE BILLING PROGRAM

Although implementation of the county’s new solid-waste billing program has gone mostly smoothly, there remain a few bugs to work out that may affect some billing recipients. With cooperation from the affected property owners, these remaining glitches can be addressed quickly in the current billing cycle.
By designing and writing the billing software internally rather than using an outside contractor, the county saved tens of thousands of dollars on start-up costs related to the implementation of the solid-waste program. Extensive pre-launch coordination with the county’s licensed, private haulers resulted in a database that was more than 90 percent accurate.
In order to determine which residents should receive the county billings each month, the private haulers provide a computerized list of the addresses they serve. These lists are downloaded into the county’s database and compared. Any addresses that show private service are exempt from county billing. The problem occurs primarily when the addresses do not match exactly between the two databases.
For instance, if a hauler enters a resident’s address as 123 North Main Street and the county’s database lists the same resident at 123 N. Main St., then the computers can’t reconcile the differences caused by the use of abbreviations. The hauler’s database must show the address exactly the same way as it is entered into the county system. Residents who have private hauling service but receive bills in error should first contact the hauler to have the address corrected and then the county to arrange to have the bill voided.
In isolated cases, an address may be incorrect within the county database. For example, 123 N. Main St. might be improperly entered as 132 N. Main St. Any property owner who receives a bill for a property that s/he does not own should contact the county’s Solid Waste Hotline at (505) 647-7277, so that the matter can be investigated and corrected.
Finally, some property owners may receive billings for vacant lands on which no inhabited structures with utilities are located. These residents should call the county’s Solid Waste Hotline at (505) 647-7277, so that the matter can be investigated and corrected.
Despite these problems, the solid-waste program is working. County employees at the eight convenience stations report that the volume of trash being brought in is almost double what it was under the coupon system. This indicates that illegal dumping is declining as residents realize that there is no point in dumping illegally (thereby risking fines and/or imprisonment) when solid-waste fees are being levied directly and the convenience stations are open for public use.
The convenience stations located in Anthony, La Mesa, Hill, Butterfield, Mesquite and Hatch are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, except holidays. The convenience stations in La Union and Garfield are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, except holidays.
For more information, call the county’s Solid Waste Hotline at (505) 647-7277. Please realize that even though this line rings at eight individual workstations, high call volume sometimes results in answering delays.
The county appreciates the patience of the public as the wrinkles are ironed out of this program that is already beautifying Doña Ana County by encouraging responsible dumping and prosecuting illegal dumping.