City considering recycling some garbage

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Residents of Vicksburg might see a drop in garbage collection fees and have access to curbside recycling by July 1 after a decade-old garbage collection contract expires on June 30.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized City Clerk Walter Osborne Tuesday to advertise for companies to submit bids for garbage and rubbish pickup and separately for garbage, rubbish and recyclables disposal.

“This is the result of us meeting with county officials and attempting to give all of our residents in our community the best options available,” Mayor Paul Winfield said.

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The new contract could be for the city alone or for the city and county together. The cost will determine the choice, city purchasing director Tim Smith said.

Smith and his brother County Administrator John Smith have been working to advertise for proposals since city and county officials held their rare meeting earlier this month.

“I imagine we would get lower prices with the economy the way it is,” Tim Smith said Tuesday. “The companies are hungrier and more competitive.”

Bidding is expected to open March 21.

One company, Arrow Disposal Services Inc. of Abbeville, Ala., made a presentation to the board Tuesday.

Currently, single-family residences and small commercial customers in the city pay $19.95 per month for twice-a-week collection. That represents an increase of $2.06 in 2009.

Waste Management of Mississippi is contracted to collect garbage in the city.

The county does not provide waste disposal services, but does monitor private services, as required by law.

County residents pay a $1.25 surcharge to one of six contracted haulers, a fee which is paid to the county for administration.

John Smith said the county is interested in continuing to use the transfer station on U.S. 61 South.

Vicksburg and Warren County share the cost of using the station to satisfy requirements by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, which mandates the legal dumping of trash.

In 1991, the city launched a four-month pilot recycling program in the Enchanted Hills subdivision between Porters Chapel Road and Wisconsin Avenue that saw success, but it was nixed because of a $2 fee added for the service, Tim Smith said.

He said a polling of a pool of residents found few people would pay for the service.