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BFI addresses recent problems

By By Mary-Allison Lancaster Managing editor
Inexperienced customer service department, lack of drivers, employee turnover and much more were among the problems cited by Barry Barter, contract manager for BFI, as he told Brewton Council members about problems his company has experienced in recent months Tuesday evening
According to Barter, after Hurricane Ivan, everything went into a "tailspin."
A portion of the staff quit; one staff member was sent to Iraq, another fell sick while two mechanics quit in the midst of it all. As a result, BFI had to hire a lot of temporary people, including inexperienced drivers, who were unfamiliar with the routes.
Barter said BFI was put into "crisis mode." He said there was a lot of disconnect between the amount of garbage BFI was responsible for picking up and the lack of trucks available for pick up. As a part of the "crisis mode," the customer service suffered as well.
"We had to transfer calls to Mobile, and that overwhelmed the Mobile system," Barter said as he addressed council members.
However, things have changed internally and externally, he said. As a part of the internal change, Glenn Schweiger was added as the permanent site manager, a new mechanic is back on board and the company is now fully staffed.
Externally, BFI has brought in three brand new trucks, which include a Boom truck, a front loader and an automatic front loader truck.
More than $75,000 in repairs have been made, which include practically every dumpster in the area sporting new coats of paint. BFI also entered into an agreement with Otto Container Management. They will be "proactive" in fixing truck parts and making deliveries, which Barter told council members, he believes that will improve customer service.
A third commercial route has been planned, phones have returned to Brewton and automated collection programs were implemented, h e said.
Barter said that with the new automated trucks, drivers are more apt to have fun driving the trucks because of the new simulation qualities added to the truck components.
He likened the truck driving to playing a video game, where as in the past, drivers were manipulating the truck manually and they would often become bored. With the new system, Barter said it adds more consistency with the drivers.
Already in effect in the city of Brewton is the yard waste and bulky waste regulations.
Under the regulations, residents must abide by the following: