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City council denies Waste Management contract extension, single-stream recycling

This is what a single-stream recycling bin with a yellow lid looks like.
OST photo by AMY HANSEN This is what a single-stream recycling bin with a yellow lid looks like.

During Tuesday night's Osceola City Council meeting, the council denied the motion to approve the five-year contract extension with Waste Management that included single-stream recycling.

For now, at least.

The council proceeded with forming a committee for a cost and benefit analysis for awaste, recycling, compost or transfer station for the city. The committee was given 90 days for a report to be put together.

Jim Kimball will head the committee.

Public concerns

There was a public hearing held during Tuesday's meeting about the potential contract extension with Waste Management. The contract extension for five years would also change recycling from curb-side to single-stream recycling that consists of totes with yellow tops.

Kimball said Waste Management does an excellent job of picking up solid waste, however, he believes waste should go into compost or recycling. He thinks it's the city's obligation to set up a composting or transfer facility with recycling.

"We have nothing in your contract, I think, that limits the size of the trucks Waste Management is going to be using on our streets," Kimball said. "I would strongly suggest there ought to be some sort of study going on to see what kind of trucks the city can buy to do the same job."

He said the benefits would be controlling the size of trucks on city streets, as well as overall costs.

"If we went to a composting situation, we could put all of our yard trash in it. We could put all of our organic material in it. We could outlaw garbage disposals. We could put all of that into the composting facility," Kimball said. "You would lower the amount of waste going to your sewer plant, which is going to cost us a bundle of money here in a few years. Maybe, there's a whole solution that could be looked at. I'd just hate to see you tie yourself up for five years without knowledge of all the different options you might have."

There were concerns this kind of analysis could take five years, but Kimball said it could probably be done in six months.

More input

Bill Trickey, executive director of Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC), said his concern was the rates businesses pay for waste-management services. He said at CCDC, they have a trash bin the size of a podium, and it costs $99 per month for services.

Osceola resident Beth Brown spoke in favor of single-stream recycling, because the city doesn't have a landfill, and waste has to be shipped out.

"I want a bin at my driveway that is the size of this (podium) so I can put my recyclables in it, because people probably aren't using the little bins," Brown said.

Ty Wheeler, Osceola city administrator and clerk, said the verbal responses received for the contract extension with single-stream recycling were both positive and negative, including tracing back to the fact the city doesn't have a local transfer or composting station.

Councilman Glenn Schaff said he's not going to go along with any new plan until he sees figures on what it will cost residents and commercial businesses. Schaff was in favor of the single-stream recycling and five-year contract extension.

CPI increase

Since the city council didn't enter into a five-year contract extension, the current contract with Waste Management states Waste Management can increase rates each year in accordance with the increase in the consumer-price index (CPI).

This year, that increase is calculated to be 27 cents per account.

In the original discussions with Waste Management incorporating single-stream recycling, Waste Management was offering to waive the CPI increase of 27 cents this year in exchange for moving to single-stream recycling.

Without the contract extension, that will go into effect. The current contract ends in 2013.

The consensus was after the three-month analytical study, the council would see the figures, and then decide what to do with the waste-management contract or other alternatives.


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