City preparing to resume garbage collection
Trinity Standard , April 2007
TRINITY – The purchase of two garbage trucks last week moved the city one step closer to its June 1 restart of its solid waste department.
During the Trinity City Council meeting on Thursday, April 12, the purchase of a 2007 International 25-cubic-yard garbage truck and a 1998 International 20-cubic-yard truck were finalized.
The used truck – to be primarily used as a back-up vehicle – was set to be delivered to the city this week. The new truck is scheduled for delivery during the second week of May.
According to City Manager Phil Patchett, the total cost of the new truck will be $127,000 which will be paid under a five-year lease-purchase agreement.
The used truck cost $40,000 and is being financed using five-year time warrants issued by the city. Patchett noted that while the truck is nine years old, it has been completely reconditioned and is in top shape.
The city manager said while the used truck will be primarily used as a back-up to the new collection truck, there could be times when it could become the primary vehicle.
“Because it is a smaller truck, we could use it to get in and out of places where we might have trouble with the larger truck,” he said.
Both vehicles will be equipped to handle the dumpsters used by local businesses.
The city council voted last month to return to the trash collection business after Allied Waste-BFI announced it was canceling its contract with the city effective June 1.
The company said rising costs for things such a gasoline, insurance and labor were making it too expensive for them to operate outside their primary work area in and around Houston.
The city shut down its own solid water department in 1988 after awarding BFI the contract for the service.
Although a number of area trash collection companies had expressed interest in taking over the Trinity service, council members decided in March that they city could do it for less cost.
They also noted that by operating the service, the city would be better able to resolve any customer problems that may arise.
Under the plan approved by the city council, the city will purchase the existing trash dumpsters owned by Allied Waste-BFI at a cost of $100 each. Patchett said the total cost of this purchase would be $10,000.
“We also have reached agreement with Santek Environmental Services to take our garbage to the Leggett landfill (in Polk County) at a cost of $5.50 per cubic yard,” Patchett added.
“We have just about everything in place now to take over the service on June 1,” he said.
He noted they are still looking for a driver to operate the trucks and have hired one of the two loaders needed for the service.
“Right now we have him working with our public works crew but he knows that as soon as the solid waste department gets up and running, he will be transferred,” Patchett said.
The city manager noted that he expects to save $30,000 to $50,000 per year in the operating costs compared to what the city was paying Allied Waste-BFI for the service.
Under the current contract, the city was paying the company $230,000. Patchett has estimated the expense will run between $180,000 and $200,000 per year once the city takes over.
“All of the money that we save will be put right back into the solid waste program to help pay off the debt on the equipment,” he explained.
During the April 12 meeting, the council voted to authorize the city to issue $75,000 in time warrants – which included the $40,000 needed for the purchase of the used garbage truck.
The remaining money will be used to make improvements in the city’s waste water system – including the purchase of pumps for city lift stations.
Council members also approved the purchase of a track loader and trailer from the Trinity County Precinct 2 Road and Bridge Department for $5,000.
They also agreed to buy a Ford brush hog with a front end loader from Wallace Tractor in Crockett at a cost of $9,000.
Patchett also announced that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has notified the city that it has extended the license for the city’s waste water treatment plant by one year.
“Because we have been in full compliance for the past three years at the plant, TCEQ has extended the (license) renewal date from 2011 to 2012.
Patchett said this is good news because the license renewal process for a sewage treatment facility takes about six months to complete.