Marthasville city leaders are considering trash hauling proposals from two companies hoping to secure a three-year contract with the city. The two competitors are Marthasville’s current trash …
Marthasville city leaders are considering trash hauling proposals from two companies hoping to secure a three-year contract with the city. The two competitors are Marthasville’s current trash service provider, Meridian Waste, and the city’s former provider, Grace Hauling.
Marthasville’s contract with Meridian ends later this spring. The new contract will run until at least 2026.
Bids from both companies were opened during the Marthasville Board of Aldermen meeting on Feb. 15, but aldermen chose to delay their decision of which provider to select. Each of the bids includes slight price increases over the next three years, as well as a separate cost for recycling service.
Mayor David Lange added that the city also collects its own service fee on trash bills, in addition to the charges from the hauler, in order to pay for postage and the time that city clerks spend processing bill payments. Aldermen have not yet set the rate for the service fee for this contract period.
Up front, Meridian Waste submitted a lower bid for the base service of trash hauling. However, Meridian also introduced complications to their bid for recycling service that gave city leaders pause and led to questions about whether Meridian is willing to provide recycling in the way that Marthasville is asking.
The bid reading started with Grace Hauling. Grace bid a cost of $20.98 per month for home trash collection, along with $16.89 per month for around 100 homes that opt into recycling service. The total for both services in the first year would be $37.87 per month.
The costs for both trash and recycling service would each increase by less than a dollar per month in 2024 and 2025, according to Grace’s contract bid.
Aldermen confirmed that Grace’s bid will only assess recycling fees on the residents who opt in to the service, because they do not want to charge residents for a service they aren’t using. Only about 20 percent of Marthasville residents use recycling, Mayor David Lange said.
Meridian’s bid, opened second, was a little more complicated. The company submitted three different prices for recycling, depending on the number of city residents who opt in.
For base trash service with no recycling, Meridian bid $14.95 per month. For combined trash and recycling service, Meridian provided three different prices, starting at the low end with a combined total of $31.22 if at least 110 residents participate.
But currently, less than 100 homes recycle, leading Mayor Lange to ask if Meridian could offer a simple, flat price for recycling that doesn’t require a certain number of participants.
“It’s hard for us to force somebody to recycle, just to meet the minimum of 110,” Lange commented.
Meridian Waste manager Barbie Russo, who attended the bid opening, replied that she could check whether the company is able to offer alternate pricing. But she commented that it’s hard for a business to justify the expense of sending a truck to pick up recycling if not enough homes are participating in the service.
Both of the trash hauling companies also submitted bids for large item pickup days twice per year. Grace Hauling submitted a bid of $55 per ton, while Meridian Waste bid an up-front cost of $975 for each pickup, plus $45 per ton. Meridian also submitted an alternate proposal of charging every resident an extra 60 cents per month and allowing anyone to pre-schedule a pickup for one large item per week.
Aldermen planned to make a decision on the trash hauling contract at their March 15 public meeting. They’ll also need to decide what city service fee to levy on top of those bills, meaning the final price for city residents won’t be determined until then.
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