CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- No trash bag voucher? No worries ... yet.
So says Tonya Cotton, Charleston's city collector.
Despite widespread publicity about the start of a new trash bag distribution program last week, some city residents probably didn't receive their vouchers in the mail right away.
WasteZero, the North Carolina company that received the contract to supply and distribute trash and recycling bags for the city this year, mailed vouchers to all eligible residential property owners between Tuesday and Thursday last week, Cotton said.
"If your cousin across the street or your cousin across town received his slip, that doesn't mean you should have received yours yet," she said.
But if Charleston residents don't receive their voucher by the end of the week, Cotton said, they should call her office at 304-348-8024.
Under a new system rolled out last week, people take their vouchers to participating merchants and trade them for a six-month supply of trash and recycling bags.
Vouchers for a second distribution in February will be mailed out early next year.
So far, Foodland and Drug Emporium in Kanawha City, Drug Emporium at Patrick Street, Pile Hardware and the Purple Onion in Capitol Market have joined in as distribution locations, although other stores could be added in the future.
The new program has caused a bit of confusion, however.
"We've had quite a few calls," Cotton said. "If they don't receive a slip, it could be one of three issues: the account could be delinquent, we could have an address issue or it was lost in the mail."
Sanitary board customers whose accounts are more than 90 days delinquent will not get a voucher, Cotton said.
That's actually less restrictive than the previous system, under which anyone whose accounts were more than 60 days overdue could not get city trash bags, she said.
"Sometimes a customer would have a late fee that would throw them over [the limit]," Cotton said. "That wouldn't happen now.
"If their account is delinquent and they can work that out by the end of the month, we'll notify WasteZero to send them a voucher next month," she said. "Otherwise, they'll have to wait for the next distribution in February."
Reach Jim Balow at email@example.com or 304-348-5102.