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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough commissioners approve new garbage pickup contracts



 Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously approved contracts for residential garbage pickup Thursday with little discussion.

The new contracts call for the start of automated garbage pickup for both household waste and recycling while costs for customers are expected to fall. The exact amount of savings is not yet known as costs of aspects of garbage disposal are slated to rise. But county officials have estimated the cost for each household for garbage pickup could fall $20 to $30 annually.

Under the automated system, households will be issued separate standardized cans with lids for waste and recyclable materials. Trucks outfitted with mechanical arms would lift and empty the cans. Cost of the new containers will be built into customers' annual garbage bills..

it was the first time commisioners had sought bids for garbage pickup in unincorporated areas in 17 years. The winning bidders are the same companies that collected trash previously, though they will have different territories. The companies are Republic Services of Florida, Waste Management of Florida and Waste Services of Florida. Each will compete against each other across the unincorporated county for commercial waste pickup.

Additionally, the commission agreed to award the residential recycling service to Waste Services. The county has built a provision into that contract that will allow it to receive a share of profits derived from the sale of recycled materials. The county has estimated its share should surpass $1 million annually.

County solid waste officials are expected to complete a study that will determine actual rates this summer. The new contracts and service would go into effect in October.

The value of the residential collection contracts to the three companies is about $25 million the first year. The contracts are for seven years with the option of three years worth of extensions.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:22pm]


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