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City officials review Natchez trash-collection proposals
from Staff Reports - NEWS
April 11, 2018 - ListenUpYall.com

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The mayor and aldermen are reviewing proposals received Tuesday from six waste companies as city officials decide how much Natchez residents will pay in the future to have their trash picked up and if the collection days will be reduced to once a week.

The final details will be worked out in behind-the-scene contract negotiations before the Board of Aldermen decides who’ll be the city’s next garbage collector. That could be as early as next week or by May 1 at the latest, said City Attorney Bob Latham.

The companies submitting proposals to provide curbside collection of residential garbage include two familiar companies: Waste Pro of Florida, the city’s current trash collector, and Waste Management of Texas, the city’s former longtime garbage hauler. The others are Metro Services Group of Louisiana; Red River Waste Solutions of Texas; and Arrow Disposal Services of Alabama. Xpress Recycling of Louisiana submitted a proposal to process recyclable materials Natchez residents separate from their trash.

Latham said their proposals should be kept secret as city officials attempt to hammer out the best deal for the city. However, he is awaiting guidance from the Mississippi Ethics Commission on whether the garbage-collection proposals can legally be closed from the public. The commission enforces the state’s open records law and interprets what can be excluded from public scrutiny.

The garbage-collection charge currently on Natchez residents’ monthly bill is $13.74. This is for twice-a-week curbside collection of trash and includes a $1 monthly charge for the city’s mosquito-control efforts.

The city has been paying Waste Pro about $900,000 a year to pick up garbage generated in Natchez by 5,700 homes and businesses twice a week.

Mayor Darryl Grennell and aldermen have said it could cost too much to continue the two-day-a-week service that Natchez has had for years. Reducing pickups to once-a-week is among the multitude of options and prerequisites city officials put on the table to hash out in negotiations with the companies wanting the exclusive contract for hauling away the city’s trash. The mayor and aldermen are also weighing various options for people wanting to separate their recyclables to be picked up.

In the meantime, Waste Pro will continue as it has the past five years to be Natchez’ trash collector. However, it ended picking up recyclable trash in November after the board decided it wants to let competing waste companies attempt to outdo Waste Pro.

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While the Natchez mayor and Board of Aldermen decide whether Waste Pro will be replaced by another company as the city’s garbage collector, the Department of Public Works will pick up bulky items such as furniture and yard debris taken to curbs by residents through next week.

This is part of the annual Natchez community spring cleanup that will culminate April 21 with volunteers combing through Natchez neighborhoods to pick up litter. Earth Day is April 22.

Residents can phone the city Department of Public Works (601 445-6652) and arrange pickups of the large items that Waste Pro does not take. They include sofas, washing machines and limbs. Household hazardous materials such as paint or gas cans are excluded.

Volunteers wanting to pick up litter are to meet 8 a.m. April 21 at Memorial Park to be directed where to go. Pickup supplies will be provided along with drinking water. The spring cleanup day will end at noon with food provided to participants at Memorial Park.




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