Budget cuts have forced Williamsburg to operate on $200,000 less for trash collection in fiscal year 2010. Bids for a new five-year contract closed on March 23, and all – even the status quo – were less than the current contract.
Dan Clayton, the city’s public works and utilities director, will now prepare his proposals for city council’s consideration. The current five-year trash collection contract ends June 30.
Clayton proposed four trash pickup options to the council at the March 17 work session: Keep the existing twice-a-week backyard pickup; do once-a-week backyard pickup; go to curbside pickup, which requires residents to place the trash by the street; or go to a once-a-week automated curbside service, which requires a special cart that a truck can grab and dump. For the automated option, no loose trash bags would be collected because each truck would have one operator.
None of the proposed options would require the residents to pay for collection. Currently, the city pays $19.80 a month, per home for pickup.
Of all the bids, curbside pickup cuts the cost by more than half. Also, competition during tough economic times is apparent as one company’s bid is $58,000 less for current service.
Clayton says the lowest bid on the first option saves $58,000, at a cost of $18.25 per house, per month. The second option’s lowest bid would cost $12.65 per home, per month for pickup, for a savings of $266,000.
The third option, which has the automated or non-automated caveats, could save $378,000. Clayton says three out of four bidders had about the same lowest bid on these options at $9.63 per home, per month. Clayton says the city would provide the special carts if this option is chosen.
He says the city will most likely adopt a new contract in May. This will give whichever company the city chooses time to get their personnel and trucks ready.