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Natchez garbage hearing set for Tuesday
from Staff Reports - NEWS
December 13, 2017 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – A public forum will be held Tuesday to explain how the mayor and aldermen will go about selecting a garbage collector for Natchez and how recyclable trash will be handled.

The 5 p.m. meeting at the City Council Chambers will enable Natchez residents to provide input and get an understanding of the decisions to be made by city officials, said Planning Director Rico Giani.

Waste Pro continues making its Natchez garbage runs as it has for the past five years while city officials draw up requests for proposals from other waste collectors. This gives them a shot at offering better rates and services than Waste Pro.

The Board of Aldermen in September voted to sever ties with the Florida-based company, but city officials failed to solicit other bidders before the old contract expired last month. This left Natchez facing the prospect of having no garbage-collection service.

However, Waste Pro and city officials negotiated an emergency short-term contract enacted two weeks ago to last up to six months while the mayor and aldermen seek competitors and hammer out a deal with the best waste collector.

The interim contract with Waste Pro retains the $13.74-a-month rate that each Natchez household has been paying. However -- to hold down expenses and keep that same rate --Waste Pro insisted it must discontinue picking up recyclable trash.

Residents can haul their recyclables to a compacting bin at the Natchez Convention Center. The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday did approve a separate deal to pay Waste Pro to haul that trash to a recycling facility in Summit. The city will pay $400 per trip plus $51 a ton for this service.

Waste Pro became Natchez’ trash collector in 2012. It replaced Waste Management, which had been hauling away the city’s trash for 30 years.

The city has been paying Waste Pro more than $900,000 a year to pick up garbage for about 6,000 Natchez households twice a week. It began in 2013 collecting recyclable trash, the first time Natchez has ever had this curbside pickup service. Waste Pro also provided each household one receptacle with wheels for general trash and one bin for recyclables.

Mayor Darryl Grennell has said he’s dissatisfied with Waste Pro’s performance. However, Alderman Sarah Carter Smith noted last month that Natchez has been enjoying low trash-collection costs compared to other cities and that it’ll likely have to pay more or have fewer pickups with any new trash-collecting service. This prompted Alderman Dan Dillard to question why the board voted in September to terminate such a good deal it had with Waste Pro.

The Dec. 19 public forum on Natchez’ waste-collection plans will be in the Council Chambers across from City Hall on Pearl Street. For more information, telephone Giani at 601 445-7518. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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