A brave new world of trash pickup in the city begins on Nov. 1.
The City Council agreed in a 3-2 vote on Monday night to hire Waste Management, Inc. to be the exclusive trash hauler for residents and businesses in the city.
The contract calls on Waste Management to also pick up recyclables, City Manager Susan Boyer said.
Under the contract, residents would pay $14.42 a month for garbage pickup twice a week and yard waste and recycling pickup every Wednesday.
For those businesses with Dumpsters, Waste Management would charge $5.50 per cubic yard of Dumpster for twice a week pickup, and $20 per month for those businesses that dispose of their refuse in trash cans, Boyer said.
Under the agreement, the hauler would collect trash from city-owned property, such as parks; sweep eight curbed streets twice a month; and perform two citywide cleanups per year.
Waste Management would also be required each year during the contract's three-year term to pay the city a franchise fee of $140,000. It would also be required to hire employees from the city's Sanitation Division.
"This is a very good contract," said council Chairwoman Kitty Ebert, who voted to approve the contract along with council members John Kendall and Robert Holmes.
The new trash hauling setup represents a dramatic change from the current program.
The city's sanitation and public works employees are currently responsible for picking up trash twice a week and yard waste twice a month. For those services, residents pay $16.20 per month on their city utility bill.
Under the current system, businesses are required to hire their own trash hauler, and those haulers are supposed to pay a franchise fee to the city. Businesses are required under city ordinance to sign up with a trash hauler, Boyer said.
Under the new contract, that hauler will be Waste Management. While the council approved the agreement with Waste Management, it did get an earful of opposition from residents.
John Kostelnick, who is seeking a council seat in the November elections, asked the council to hear from residents, pointing to what he said was opposition to the privatization among some residents in Woodland Estates.
He cautioned the council against privatizing city services, such as trash pickup, saying that residents would eventually ask: "Why do we need a city" government?
Council member Susan Kirk, who voted against the contract, said she thought the contract was good but wanted to hold a workshop to allow more public input. Council member Roger B. Proffer Sr. voted against the contract as well, saying his objections were based on complaints from businesses about possible rate increases.
Raghuram Vadarevu can be reached at rvadarevusptimes.com or 564-3627.