The Mayor and members of the Greenwood City Council met on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of city assuming their own sanitation business.

Sanitation consultant Tom Martin with Martin Consulting attended the meeting to address questions from the council. Martin stated that in his experience a city can perform trash pick up cheaper than a private company can.

“It is a fact,” said Martin. “Your insurance is cheaper, you pay less for gas and usually your payroll is less. Those three things alone will be twenty percent cheaper than most private haulers.”

Greenwood is currently in a three year contract with Altes Sanitation. The topic was spurred at the May council meeting by a request from Altes Sanitation for an increase due to a recent hike in landfill fees.

The city awarded Altes the contract last year and is just five months into that contract. Altes bid was for $9.40 for each residential pickup and $1 each for recycling. The city tacks on an additional 50 cents as an administrative fee.

Greenwood Mayor, Doug Kinslow, stated that he had been visited by Bobby Altes a few months ago and requested the increase of $1.20 to $1.30 per household.

According to the current contract either party (the city or Altes) can terminate the contract with a 30 days notice.

Kinslow stated at the study session that while the service that the city has received from Altes has not always been the best that it is cheap compared to other companies and he has some doubts about the city performing the service at a lower rate than Altes.

Last year, when the contract was awarded, the second lowest bid was from Inland Waste Solutions out of Sarasota Florida with a bid of $12.20 for trash pickup with no additional cost for recyclables, MSG Waste and Refuse bid $16.56 per household and $1.50 for recyclables. According to city attorney Mike Hamby the MSG bid did not meet the city’s requirements as it did not include a bond.

Kinslow said that he believes for the city to perform the same service rates would have to be increased by $2 per customer. The city has 3,200 residential sanitation customers.

The city has completed some research and has come up with five projections.

Projection 1

Purchase one new truck and one used truck at a capital cost $706,948 which would require a residential charge of $13.42.

Projection 2

Two used rear loading trucks, which would require two drivers and one slinger to load the truck at a capital cost of $280,000. Which would require a residential charge of $11.87.

Projection 3

Two used automated trucks at a capital cost of $522,823 and require a residential charge of 12.32.

Projection 4

Two used rear loading trucks with two drivers and two slingers at a capital cost of $280,000 and require a residential charge of 12.87.

Projection 5

Two leased new automated trucks at a capital cost of 272,823 and require a resident.

New 95 gallon trash cans that can be picked up by the automated truck have been figured into the projected prices with extra containers provided at an additional fee.

Martin stated that other cities that he has worked with provide a special service for those that are in need of assistance moving their cans to the curb.

Councilman Lance Terry stated that he believes that an additional cost for the service may be in the city’s best interest and that doing so would enable the city to provide superior service that would allow for a secondary pick should a resident miss their regular pick day due to extenuating circumstances such as an illness.

“In my opinion we should figure out how to do our own trash pick up,” said Alderman Daniel McDaniel. “We should start with residential with the thought that we will grow into commercial and maybe the industrial somewhere down the road.”

McDaniel stated that the city should leave the Altes contract in place until the true cost of going into the sanitation business is going to cost the city in terms of creating a new department within the city with its own needs as well as additional employees.

The meeting on Wednesday was a only a study session and no votes were taken. Martin stated that he would continue to work with the city to help iron out the costs and detail in the event that Altes decided to terminate the current contract.