Garbage and sewage are two of the main topics on agenda for the Greensboro City Council virtual work session at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The agenda actually doesn’t use the words garbage or sewage, but sometimes you have to read between the lines.

The second item on the agenda is “Field Operations Review,” which may not sound like garbage, but the Field Operations department is responsible for picking up garbage and taking it to the transfer station, where it is dumped into tractor trailers and hauled to the Randolph County Landfill.

The Field Operations department is responsible for a lot more than garbage – recycling, yard waste, loose leaf pick up, household hazardous wastes, street resurfacing and repair, street cleaning and snow removal to name a few. But garbage and recycling lately have been the services that have received most of the press. Of course, one big winter storm and the focus will all be on snow removal for at least a few days.

The City Council will also hear a report on a new “Sanitary Sewer Backup Policy,” which most people would call a sewage backup policy, and it’s also something most people don’t even want to think about.

But the good news is that the City of Greensboro provides 24/7 service to clear sewer backups. If the blockage is in the main sewer line or in the city’s right-of-way, the city clears the line at no charge, and, if the conditions proscribed in the policy are met, will help pay for the damage. If the blockage is on private property, not in the city right-of-way, the property owner is responsible.

The city will help pay for the damage caused by a sewer backup caused by blockage on the mainline if the property does not have a backwater valve installed, this the first sewer backup at this address, you agree to sign a waiver and agree to install a backwater valve.

If you have insurance the city will pay up to $1,000 to cover the deductible, and if you don’t have insurance the city may reimburse you up to $15,000 for damage.