Athens City Council met Monday to discuss annual reports produced by different committees, including accessibility audits in the county.
The Athens City Commission on Disabilities said that in 2021, many things were done to improve accessibility in Athens, including walk and roll audits, which allows the commission to specifically identify accessible areas in the county, and two monthly series to try to help educate people in the community about issues related to disability.
The City and Safety Services Committee discussed garbage and recycling removal in Athens. Recently, Council ended the city’s contract with Bigbelly, who provided the city with trash bins that compacted the trash as it was put in. Instead, the body is purchasing its own waste bins in order to save money.
Alan Swank, D-4th Ward, talked about the varying rates for trash between renters and homeowners. To him, the disparity is very inequitable, especially considering renters, who may produce less trash, are paying more than homeowners.
Council also discussed composting in Athens. Swank said some of his constituents do not compost because they get virtually nothing in return from composting.
Councilman Sam Crowl, D-3rd Ward, said that program is important because it keeps organic materials that create methane gasses from being produced in a landfill. Those gasses are 80 to 100 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, Crowl said.
The body also discussed the possibility of extending the mask mandate. Councilwoman Sarah Grace, D-At Large, said the current ordinance is set to expire in February, and Council may want to consider extending it as the virus continues to spread around Athens.