Annapolis City Council unanmiously voted to contract its solid waste disposal to Bates Trucking and Trash Removal Monday night as part of the 2013 budget.
"The city did a managed competition process for solid waste where we invited bids to handle solid waste, including letting our own city guys bid on it," Mayor Josh Cohen said. "The bottom line is we are going to be contracting out our entire solid waste operation. Not just recycling, but also trash, refuse pickup and yard waste is going to be handled by Bates, which currently does our recycling."
Cohen was initially resistant to the idea of contracting out the city's trash services, but ended up voting for the conversion.
"I have some concerns about the accountability because it’s going to be one layer removed," Cohen said. "But again, Bates is reputable and they already do our recycling."
The changover is slated for Oct. 1, but Cohen said it could happen a little earlier. Here's a look at how privatizing Annapolis' trash will change things:
It's going to save you money
Annapolis' trash removal is an enterprise fund, which means it has to be self-sustaining. That means whent the cost of trash removal goes up, so does residents' quarterly utility bill.
Cohen said contracting out the city's solid waste operation saves the city money.
"So the reduction in cost is passed through to all of us on our quarterly utility bill," Cohen said. "This current year the annual reduction is projected at $48 per household."
A projection that is expected to grow once Bates actually takes over.
"My expectation is that next year, once it’s actually implemented, the savings will increase even beyond that $48," Cohen said.
Trash pickup will be once a week
"The tentative plan, and it’s not final, but tentatively it’s going to be whatever day you have recycling, you’re going to get it all," Cohen said.
Trash collection moved to once a week for Anne Arundel County residents June 4.
Scott Shaffer has his trash services handled by the county, and he said, "We were finding that maybe 25 percent of our neighborhood even put out trash the second day."
No more leaf blowing
"Instead of the leaf vacuuming coming around, that’s going to switch to just bagged leaves," Cohen said.
The mayor said it is a more cost-effective approach to leaf removal, but he has heard some pushback from residents in Admiral Oaks.
Bulk pickup on demand
"Instead of the quarterly bulk pickup, we are going to switch to bulk pickup on demand, which actually is a cheaper way of doing it," Cohen said. "If you have like a big appliance or something, you can just call and then the next day they will come and pick it up."
Some city employees will change jobs
City employees who currently handle trash pickup will have two options: The first is to apply for one of the 12 jobs openings with Bates, and the second option will be to switch to other city jobs.
How do you feel about the changes being made to solid waste removal services? Tell me in the comments.