'Miscommunication' shreds local citizens' paper disposal plans

Carlton Fletcher, The Albany Herald, Ga.
·2 min read

May 2—ALBANY — Miscommunication among employees of a Columbus paper shredding company left hundreds of southwest Georgians disappointed Saturday and had some Albany officials pondering the pros and cons of purchasing an industrial shredder for the city.

The Columbus shredding company has been teaming with Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful to accommodate on-site shredding of potentially sensitive papers for 12 years now, KADB Executive Director Judy Bowles said Saturday after a "miscommunication" among employees at the company left "lines of cars from behind the Civic Center all the way to Oglethorpe" without access to the promised industrial shredder.

"There were hundreds of cars," a disappointed Bowles said early Saturday afternoon after she, city employees and other volunteers had to "go from car to car to tell everyone what happened" in the absence of the shredder. "And I know they're disappointed; I don't blame them.

"But this company that we've been dealing with for 12 years — and have never had a problem with — just did not have a driver to show up for our event. They couldn't have been more apologetic, and that's what we told the people in every car waiting to shred documents as we explained the situation. We did give each of them a gift and told them we'd let them know as soon as we have a make-up date for the shredding event."

Ward III Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher said she started receiving calls of complaint shortly after 7:30 a.m., a good hour and a half before the shredding event was set to begin.

"I understand people wanting to be first in line, but how do you start complaining about an event starting an hour or more before it's set to even begin?" Fletcher said. "Evidently, as these people (waiting in line) got word that the shredder had not been heard from, they started complaining.

"Judy was worried they'd broken down, so I started calling and found out there was a miscommunication and that no truck had been sent to Albany."

Fletcher said city leaders might now look into the possibility of going in a different direction.

"There is a local shredding company, but they wanted to charge the city for such an event, and the Columbus company does it for free," Fletcher said. "I wish we could work with a local company and come up with an agreement that worked for everyone or even purchase a shredder for KADB. We buy equipment for city departments every day, and it always seems that KADB gets nothing or the scraps. Maybe we need to look closer at this issue."

Bowles, who said the Columbus company has worked with KADB because it is "good PR" and because it recycles the paper it shreds, said she would announce a new shredding date "as soon as we can set one up."