“Why Increase Henry County Garbage Fees?”

“Why Increase Henry County Garbage Fees?”

By: Judge Money

    When I came into office a little over ten years ago, the monthly fee for garbage pickup was $14.00.  We went to the single-operator system a few years back and increased the fee to $15.00 to help defer part of the cost of the two new trucks. I’ve been asked this week why a $2.00 per month increase is needed when we have $800,000 in the account.  That’s a fair question and it deserves a thorough response.

    We will soon order a new garbage truck to replace one of the two that will have over 100,000 miles on them when the new truck gets here.  That alone would not necessitate the increase.  Let’s take a look at the world in which we all now live. Annual repairs to garbage trucks that were under $50,000 just a few years ago have now doubled. Our sanitation labor costs are up 25% (if you can even find drivers with CDLs.) A gallon of fuel has also doubled in the past six years. Our insurance costs and the expense of taking garbage to the transfer station are both up substantially.  We’ve been asked for years why Henry County doesn’t offer a pick-up service for household items (old refrigerators, sofas, limb debris…we are told that ‘Headland and Abbeville do.’  We have a grapple truck on order so that we can soon offer that.  We are hearing that the Coffee County landfill may soon increase prices to local counties that send their garbage down there. Henry County is one that does.  We are mandated to dig two new cells at our construction and demolition landfill (this is not where household garbage is accepted.)  The cost of digging the new cells combined with the cost of the garbage and grapple trucks will take 75% of the $800,000.  All these expenses (as well as others) must be paid using the balance of that money.   

    I’m told that one local official has stated that our garbage fees may soon be increased again.  That is not true.  There will be no further increases in the standard monthly fee.  We are, however, looking at the way we issue and charge for ‘extra’ cans.  All present Henry County sanitation customers have been provided one new 95-gallon can at no cost to them.  We offer a ‘second can’ option for those citizens who would like to have two. With the growth we are seeing in the south end of Henry County, customers are routinely asking for the second can.  In the past, we charged $75.00 for the can with no extra monthly charge.  Now every ‘second can’ we provide costs us in excess of $100.00 by the time it is bought, prepped, and delivered to the customer.  We lose more than $25.00 on every ‘second can’ we issue. Two neighboring counties charge $12.50 and $14.00 monthly for the second can. My recommendation is that we take a look at our ‘second can’ policy to see if we should continue to lose money – not only at the point of sale but every month that we service that extra can at no charge. I live in Headland where the ‘second can’ is offered for $10.00 per month.  It is our choice to pay for that convenience. 

     Last week we called several counties and cities in our area.  The average regular monthly garbage rate for the counties and cities that border us is $19.70.  When the Henry County rate changes to $17.00 on May 1st, we will still be below the regional average.  Our routes run weekly – garbage is picked up 52 times a year.  The increase of $2.00 per month computes to less than 50 cents per week – a single cup of coffee costs four times that much.  Think about it.


Henry County Commission Votes to Increase Trash Fees

In the February 2023 County Commission meeting, Henry County Commissioners voted to increase the monthly trash pick-up fee from $15 to $17. This change is effective May 1, 2023. The $2 increase was due to the following factors:

  • The purchase of a new boom-knuckle truck was required.
  • Maintenance of the landfill where the garbage is discarded.
  • An increase in landfill pricing.

A $75 fee is required when setting up trash services for a new customer or new location. The County Commission will vote in their 2023 March meeting on whether to increase the price of service set-up. This is due to the price never going up when the county passed out standard-issued cans a few years ago.  According to the Supervisor of the Solid Waste Department, Matthew Quincey, the cost of the standard-issued garbage cans is actually costing an additional $90.16 more than the customer is charged.

Probate and Commission’s Office moves to “The Herndon Building”

As of October 2022, the probate and commission’s office has moved to “The Herndon Building”. The Herndon Building is located at 102 North Court Square Abbeville, AL 36310. We are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday thru Friday. The probate office is responsible for all renewals/purchases of boat/car tags, business licenses, and hunting/baiting/fishing licenses. Standard driver’s licenses and marriage certificates will still be located in the courthouse. Please come see us when it is your month to renew. Thanks!

Driver’s License examiner has moved to the Annex Building

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) examiner location has changed. They are now located in the Annex Building only on Wednesdays. You can still simply renew your license or change your address at the Henry County Courthouse when you walk in and turn right on any weekday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. A state trooper from the ALEA office will be in Abbeville to issue new Driver’s Licenses, change your name, issue new star IDs, and issue driving tests on Wednesdays only. The location of the Annex Building is 101 N Doswell Street Abbeville, AL 36310. We do not take appointments, first come first serve.

(Wednesdays Only)
8:00 am to 12:00 pm
(1-hour lunch break)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

For more information please call (334) 604-5407. This number will only be answered on Wednesdays during business hours.

Henry County will no longer be mailing out Tag Renewal Cards

Residents of Henry County, AL will no longer be receiving car tag renewals via mail. The process of mailing these out was costing the city an exorbitant amount of money every year. We apologize for any inconvenience you may experience. We recommend you make a reminder of when your tag is due or check our website monthly to see if it is your turn to renew. Thanks!

The Herndon Building Parking

For customers visiting The Herndon Building, we have a very large parking lot behind our building. If you drive around the right side, there is more than enough parking for everyone. No need to park at the courthouse and walk over or walk around the whole building to get to the front. There is a side door on the opposite side of the building than you drove in on like you are exiting our parking lot. It is accessible to everyone. We hope you will come to see us soon!

Red Cross Shelters opened for storms

Henry County will open two Red Cross shelters on Sunday.  The First Baptist Church Headland located at 301 East Church Street in Headland and the Abbeville United Methodist Church located at 100 West Kelly Street in Abbeville will open at 4:00pm on Sunday September 10th.


Residents living in mobile homes are encouraged to seek out one of these shelters or stay with friends / family in a sturdy home.