News

City trash collection switch gets final okay

Once-a-week pickup to begin in January with increased cost
By MIKE BROWN
Reporter Editor

It’s official. Rockdale will switch from twice- a-week to once- a-week garbage pickup on Jan. 1.

And the city is also switching its trash pickup firm after a pair of 5-0 votes Tuesday by council members changed the service from Waste Management to IESI.

City residents will see a slight increase, from $12.31 to $13.51 per month. Retaining the present rate was not an option. Waste Management had bid $15.14 to continue the present twice-per-week service.

IESI’s base bid submitted in August was $12.98 per month. City Manager Kelvin Knauf said the difference between $12.98 and $13.51 represents IESI’s franchise fee and city “administrative fees.”

The bid accepted by IESI was the lowest of those submitted by three collection firms, which included several options.

There are also a number of commercial pickup rates. Councilman Doug Calame pointed out that in some instances commercial rates will actually be lower than the present service.

Knauf said there are many categories of commercial fees, based on number of containers required.

NO RECYCLING—The contract adopted Tuesday by the council does not include recycling.

Knauf said recycling would add about $5 per month to bills charged local residents.

Actual extra cost per month for recycling in the IESI option selected by the council would have been $4.87, Knauf said.

“ The way this contract is structured, recycling could be added later, Knauf said.

NEGOTIATION—A 4-2 split council vote in August had expressed a preference for IESI over bids by Waste Management and Texas Disposal and had authorized Knauf to negotiate with the company and present a contract for council approval.

Knauf said he and City Attorney Michelle L ehmkuhl had met most of the day Tuesday with IESI to make mostly minor changes to the contract proposed by the company.

“The major change was to clarify that any future rate increase would apply only to IESI’s base rate, not to their franchise fee,” Knauf said. “ That should save customers a little.

There were also some changes to the way bad debts in connection with trash pickups would be collected, Knauf said.,

CARTS—In addition to the switchfromtwicetooncea week, the biggest change Rockdale residents will notice is in trash receptacles.

IESI will provide 96-gallon “polycarts” to each customer, which can be rolled to the curb each collection day.

Jim Hare, IESI district marketing manager, said in addition to the polycart, up to three trash bags may also be set out for collection each pickup date.

“But there won’t be any monthly discount if customers don’t use the polycart,” Knauf said.

Hare said in addition to picking up bags, IESI will also collect up to one yard of bundled brush and up top two cubic yards of “white items.”

White ( bulky) items include, but are not necessarily limited to, refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, sofas, washers and dryers.

CONTROVERSY—The planned switch triggered some controversy in August.

Councilman Allan Miller said he would vote against the IESI proposal, saying “ the citizens of this town are not happy with waste collection being cut in half.”

Councilwoman Toby Johnson said nine of the 11 persons who had contacted her expressed a preference for once a week.

Knauf said Tuesday’s vote was the final one on the matter.

“ We w ill have to formally change the rates at some point between now and Jan. 1,” he said following Tuesday’s meeting. “But so far as the change to IESI, and going to once a week, that’s done.”


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2011-09-29 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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