trash truck

The City’s contract with WastePro expires at the end of this fiscal year, so one of the things we talked about at our retreat are our options for waste and recycling collection going forward. To continue receiving the services that we currently have (garbage, recycling, bulk waste, yard waste, and leaf collection), pricing for a new contract is significantly higher than what we currently pay (approx. $300k-$400k more per year than what we pay now). So, we’re looking at our options.

One of the largest cost drivers is the cost of yard waste and leaf collection. It’s also worth noting that this is also the service that tends to generate the most complaints (of leaves not being picked up, etc.). So, one of the options we are exploring is taking that service in-house, and the biggest expense involved in that is the purchase of three vacuum trucks and a claw truck for about $762k. Landfill fees would also be about $30k per year. The good news is that the trucks last anywhere from 5-7 years, and it sounds like our Public Works staff will be able to work through the logistical challenges of driving the trucks.

I think this deal makes sense, as we will likely be able to recoup the cost of the trucks in about 2.5 years and, this will also give us more control over the quality of the service provided for yard waste and leaf collection. I also suggested that we look into the feasibility of investing in some mulching equipment that we could use to grind up the yard waste we collect to either sell it back to the public or use it as part of the City’s landscaping around town. Assuming it makes financial sense to do so, I think this would be a great way to reuse waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.