City to resume trash collection service
Trinity Standard , April 2007
TRINITY – After leaving the business 19 years ago, the City of Trinity is now finalizing plans to re-enter the garbage collection business.
Last week the Trinity City Council approved the purchase of two garbage trucks and authorized the hiring of a three-person staff to re-create a solid waste department.
During the special council session held Thursday, March 15, four private solid waste companies made presentations seeking the contract that had been held by Allied Waste-BFI for the past 19 years.
In February, Allied Waste officials notified the city that due to rising costs and declining profits, they would end their service to the city by June 1.
At that meeting, BFI officials indicated they had been negotiating with Pro Star Waste of Goodrich to take over the contact but the council objected. The city leaders told BFI they would prefer to conduct their own negotiations in order to select a contractor they could work with into the future.
During the city’s meeting last week, proposals from Pro Star Waste were joined by offers from Hutto Garbage Service of Crockett, T.J. Burdett and Son of Huntsville and Community Sanitation Services of Riverside.
“All of the proposals were excellent but in the end, the council decided that it was time for the city to get back into the business,” City Manager Phil Patchett said following the meeting.
The city manager noted that during their 19 years of working with Allied Waste-BFI, the main difficulty they had with the private trash contractor was in the area of communication.
When citizens had problems with service, they would contact city hall personnel who in turn would pass the information onto Allied Waste-BFI personnel in the Houston area.
The information then had to be relayed to a dispatcher who then had to relay it on by radio to the truck driver operating in Trinity.
“Since we were going to have to make a change now anyway, it was felt that this was an opportune time for the city to take complete control of the service,” Patchett said.
“If there is a problem, we will no longer have to count on a message being relayed to the proper person. We will be in charge of all aspects of the service so the buck will stop here,” he said.
Under the plan approved by the council last week, the city will purchase a new 25-yard refuge truck at a cost of about $125,000 and a used 25-yard truck at a cost of about $40,000.
Patchett said the used truck will be held as a back-up in the event that the new truck needs to be taken out of service for any reason.
The council also authorized Patchett to hire a driver and two helpers to operate the equipment.
Patchett said the change from Allied Waste-BFI to city workers is set to take place in early June – either Friday, June 1 or Monday, June 4.
No change in city garbage collection rates will be made at this time although Patchett indicated the city will look at the rates “down the road” after they get a better feel regarding overall expenses for the new department.
At present, residential customers pay $10.95 per month for trash collection service. Patchett noted that other area communities currently charge up to $14 and $15.50 for the service.
The city manager estimated that the cost of the new department would run between $180,000 and $200,000 per year.
“Right now we’re paying BFI $230,000 a year for their service so we should have a savings there,” he said, adding that the savings would be applied toward the cost of the two trucks the city will be buying.
He noted that five-year time warrants would be issued to purchase the used truck while the new truck would be obtained through a five-year vehicle loan.
Under the city’s plan, the BFI trash dumpsters now in use in Trinity would be acquired by the city and would remain in place.
Patchett noted that the two trucks being purchased by the city are of the same type as that used now by BFI with read-loading lifts. They will be able to empty the dumpsters with no problems.
Schedules for collection would remain unchanged.
“Everything should remain the same except the name on the side of the truck. The only change that city residents should notice is that, hopefully, they will have an easier time handling problems,” he said.