City, county considering staying with BFI for disposal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2000

City and County leaders said Tuesday that they are leaning toward continuing business with the same company that has handled waste disposal for the area for the past 10 years.

Warren County’s five supervisors and Vicksburg’s three elected officials met Tuesday to discuss the six proposals received a week ago for the disposal of county and city garbage. The option that officials seemed to like best was one from BFI to continue operations in the county.

“The ability to perform in a satisfactory manor is as important or more important than price,” said Richard George, president of the county board.

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“Even when we had extra clean-up times, we’ve never had any problems” with BFI, South Ward Alderman Gertrude Young said.

BFI operates a transfer station on U.S. 61 South, where city and county garbage is taken. The company’s proposal is to continue operating the transfer station for five years at a rate of $34.47 per ton.

Although the proposal from BFI is not the cheapest of the six, officials considered other factors. Past performance, time factors and transportation were deliberated in addition to the cost.

“Five years seems like a reasonable approach since we don’t know what technologies may be available in two or three years,” said Mayor Robert Walker.

District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale said the city and county should keep their options open for developments in the future. Two plans he said officials should be looking at are a composting facility proposed for the county and a regional landfill being developed in Jefferson County.

“I’d hate to enter into something too long and not be able to take advantage of something new,” Lauderdale said.

Residential household waste is currently taken to the transfer station by garbage trucks and then transferred to larger trucks to be hauled to dump sites. Currently, only BFI and Waste Management operate transfer stations in Warren County.

Waste Management of Mississippi Inc. submitted a proposal to transfer city and county garbage to a landfill outside the county for five or 10 years at $33 per ton. While that rate is lower than one offered by BFI, it would be good for only one year and would increase every year thereafter.

BFI’s proposal included no escalation clauses.

“All things considered, at the county level, we have had little or no trouble with the transfer station operating as it is,” George said.

Another alternative discussed was that of Billy Ewell. Under the name Warren County Waste Disposal Inc., Ewell and his partners, attorney Kelly Loyacono and developer Pete Buford, proposed entering into a 10-year contract with the city at a rate of $33.66 per ton, but did not include the cost of transportation.

“If you compare it with the other bids, it’s actually higher,” South Ward Alderman Sam Habeeb said.

For several months, Ewell has been preparing his 10-acre site off Jeff Davis Road for operation next year, but the DEQ approval process could take several more months.

“In the selection process, can we consider someone who is not yet ready to go forward?” Walker asked.

Other proposals considered were those of Twin Bridges Co. Inc., The City of Canton and Earth Friends Recycling & Disposal Inc. All three offered contracts for less than BFI, but none is currently in operation in the county.

The offer from Canton did not include the transportation costs, while both Twin Bridges and Earth Friends would have to obtain transfer stations in the county.

Questions were also raised about the performance of Earth Friends, which operates in Tallulah and Madison Parish.

“Consideration should be given to their proven problems,” George said.

City officials said they would consider each alternative before awarding a contract. Contracts for waste disposal are awarded through the city with the provision that private haulers in the county be allowed to use the facility.