City close to renewed trash deal

Published 12:51 am Saturday, June 24, 2017

In what may be the last official duty of its term, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday authorized the city’s solid waste committee to begin negotiations with Waste Management of Mississippi for garbage and trash collection in the city.

The committee recommended Waste Management, which holds the present contract for garbage and trash collection in the city, after reviewing bids for garbage and trash collection from Waste Management and two other companies. A fourth, Riverbend Environmental, submitted a bid for waste disposal only.

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said the board may have to hold a special called meeting before the end of the month if the committee and Waste Management reach an agreement.

The new board takes office July 2 and has its first meeting July 5.

According to the solid waste committee’s report, Waste Management was recommended based on its past performance with the city, professional qualifications, history of its operations in the region and financial stability, and because it had the lowest overall price for garbage and trash and debris.

Waste Management bid $10.85 for twice weekly residential garbage collection and $39.94 for collection four times a week and $32 per ton for solid waste disposal. The charge for trash and debris collection was included in the monthly garbage collection fee, according to bid documents.

The company’s collection fees were higher than Metro Services Group of New Orleans, which bid $10.14 for twice-weekly residential garbage collection and $21.46 for collection four times a week. It bid $15,588 a month for once a month trash and debris collection and gave a price of $26.92 per ton for solid waste disposal.

City residents currently pay $16.50 for twice a week garbage collection.

Metro was the committee’s second choice. If the committee is unable to negotiate a price that will save residents money, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said, it would negotiate with Metro.

“I assume negotiable means if this contract is awarded, we’re going with the low bid,” Flaggs said. “We’re going to know if we’re providing this service at the least cost to the taxpayer … if not, then we need to move on to someone else. That’s the way I look at it.

“If it does not reduce it (the cost) to the citizens, then we start over. We go to the next lowest bid. I think it’s our job, it’s incumbent on us, to get the best possible service at the least cost to the taxpayer.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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