Atlanta Resumes Tougher Garbage Bill Collection Policy

Atlanta -- The Fulton County Board of Commissioners has voted to resume a previous garbage billing practice that could bring up the bill-collection rate. Beginning in July, residential garbage bills will be sent from metro counties rather than from the city — the same billing practice that was ended in 1999 when authority went to the city. The 88,000 residential customers now will receive one annual bill. Payment to the city was sent four times per year.

County enforcement of garbage-payment collection is firmer than it was under the city, which is why county collection ceased three years ago. News sources report that City Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand expects the lien judgements that allow garnishment of bank accounts should help Atlanta reach a 96 percent collection rate — the same collection rate it had when the city took over. The current collection rate is 76 percent but has dropped to a low of 60 percent.