Landfill stink: Local offers lowest, should be considered, two companies say

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Representatives of two local waste disposal industries say the city and county should consider their lower prices for Vicksburg and Warren County’s garbage services.

Kelly Loyacono, a partner and lawyer for Warren County Waste Disposal Inc., told Vicksburg’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday that the company is prepared to lower its proposed rate for waste disposal from $33.66 per ton to $27. He and his partners, Pete Buford and Billy Ewell, are preparing a 10-acre site off Jeff Davis Road for operation next year, but the state approval process could take several more months.

“We are a local business,” Loyacono said. “The dollars will stay here in Warren County, and we’ve got the best price.”

Also, Sylvester Brown of the Tallulah based Earth Friends Recycling said separately that citizens benefit more by using a local contractor for garbage. Earth Friends proposed a rate of $28.50 per ton when the request for proposals was taken two months ago.

Brown also questioned why city and county officials would indicate an interest in continuing current contracts for waste disposal, which expires June 1, with BFI or Waste Management, the company that currently holds the contract for city garbage collection. To that end, Warren County Board of Supervisors president Richard George met Friday with the two companies to negotiate a lower price for waste disposal.

“We’ve made the lowest bid so we should be awarded that contract,” Sylvester said. Earth Friends serves Madison and Tensas parishes, directly across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg.

BFI had offered a rate of $34.47 per ton, but lowered that to $33.87 Friday. Waste Management’s offer was also lowered from $33 to $31.50 per ton with an adjustment clause.

BFI’s proposal included no escalation clauses.

Unlike the process for seeking bids that usually requires officials to award a contract to the lowest bidder, when looking for garbage disposal services, the law says officials may consider other factors. The process also allows officials to negotiate for a lower price with any company that submits a proposal.

“It appears to me that the city’s interest and the county’s are conflicting,” Loyacono said. “It’s in the city’s interest that the waste go someplace in the county. The county’s appears to be political, not economical.”

Supervisors, who closed Warren County-owned landfills more than 10 years ago, have been at odds with Ewell for many years over the placement of a landfill within the county. Residents in the Jeff Davis community have sought to block the landfill, and the county board has turned down repeated requests by Ewell to expand the site.

Loyacono said he will meet with city officials in hopes of convincing them that a local option is in the city’s best interest.

Other proposals for waste disposal were from Twin Bridges Co. Inc., and the City of Canton. All three offered contracts for less than BFI, but none currently operates 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. Building the facility would require a license to operate from Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, which can take months.

Contracts for waste disposal are awarded through the city with the provision that private haulers in the county be allowed to use the facility.