City another step closer to privatizing garbage service

The city of Cairo is moving closer to getting out of the garbage collection business following action taken by the city council.
The city solicited proposals from vendors interested in collection of residential and commercial garbage within the corporate limits of Cairo. Five proposals were submitted including one from Cairo-based Taylor Waste Services.
Other interested vendors include Advanced Disposal, the city of Thomasville, Waste Pro and Seminole Sanitation.
The lowest cost option based on the proposals was $68,014.95 monthly from Taylor Waste. The second lowest was Advanced Disposal, which projected a monthly fee of $71,351.35.
Seminole’s projected monthly cost was $110,635.00 compared to $90,001.55 from Waste Pro and $85,244.97 from the city of Thomasville.
Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton said he quickly narrowed the choices down to Taylor and Advanced.
“Both offered good prices, but the question is if Taylor is big enough to meet our needs for the long term,” Addleton said.
In addition, Advanced has also offered to purchase all of the city’s inventory of roll-out containers and dumpsters as well as the current fleet of three garbage trucks.
According to Addleton, the city just purchased a new truck last July and Advanced had offered to pay basically what the city owes on the truck, which the city financed.
The city manager said although Advanced made offers on the other trucks, he said the city would most likely sell them to the highest bidder.
Taylor Waste Service picks up garbage for the city of Whigham and has some local accounts, but no other municipal accounts, according to Addleton.
The city manager pointed out that Advanced has an extensive list of other municipal accounts in Georgia including Sylvester, Camilla, Pelham, and Americus.
Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas, who chairs the council’s finance committee, said Monday night he had reviewed the proposals independent of the city staff and he too had decided the best option was to contract with Advanced Disposal.
Douglas, who is the finance director for the city of Camilla, is familiar with Advanced through his work in Mitchell County.
“Advanced has the wherewithal and backing to provide service to us at a reasonable cost. In addition, they are willing to purchase our equipment, dumpsters and roll-outs which is even more lucrative to us and in their favor more than the others,” Councilman Douglas said.
Douglas acknowledged the city did not request the vendors to purchase existing equipment and containers, but he noted the other prospects were planning to use the city’s existing containers and replace them as needed.
“Many of our dumpsters need to be replaced now. In fact, we probably should have replaced a lot of them already,” Douglas said.
The finance committee chairman also recommended the council earmark any proceeds from the sale of equipment, containers, and dumpsters for future capital outlay needs for the trash collection service the city is retaining.
Councilman Ernest Cloud pointed out that two of the garbage truck drivers are shifting to other jobs within the organization and a third employee may be retiring or will be placed in another position.
“No one is losing their job because of this,” Cloud stated.
The council voted unanimously Monday night to authorize Addleton to negotiate a contract with Advanced Disposal and bring the finalized contract back to the council for its consideration at the Monday, May 11 council meeting.
Councilman Douglas asked if the transition to a private vendor would take effect July 1 and Addleton said depending on the negotiations it could take effect even sooner.
City officials say that the move will not impact current rates or service. The new firm is also expected to maintain the current schedule of garbage collection.
As part of the negotiations, the city will also require that garbage collected locally be disposed of at the city’s landfill until which time it is closed.
The city currently has 3,375 residential containers being serviced weekly and 234 commercial containers.

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