Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Green Cove to Retain Trash Business, for Now

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Green Cove to Retain Trash Business, for Now

Article excerpt

GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- The garbage generated by Green Cove

Springs residents will likely continue to be rounded up by city

workers for at least the next year.

On Tuesday, three of the five City Council members said they

did not support contracting out the collection and disposal of

residential waste and recyclable materials. They tabled a

proposal that would have given the job to a commercial

waste-hauling company.

The council action came despite a recommendation last month

from the city's solid waste committee, which includes City

Council members Diane Hutchings and Greg Will and City Manager

Eric Meserve, that residential solid waste collection be

privatized to save money.

The collection and disposal of garbage generated by businesses

within the city is already handled by a commercial hauler. The

proposal would have combined commercial, residential and

recyclable collection into one contract.

The solid waste committee had recommended the city award a

five-year contract to Southland Waste Systems Inc., lowest of

five bidders. about $42,578 less than the $776,620 cost of the

city retaining

For the first year, the Southland budget would be $734,042,

residential pickup, according to a city budget comparison.

But when the proposal reached the council floor Tuesday,

Hutchings and Will were absent. Each was out of town this week.

Council members Matthew Tinney Jr., Calvin Wilcox and Jerry

Williams said they wanted to give the deficit-plagued solid

waste department more time to improve services. Rate and

operational changes designed to improve efficiency and cut costs

have been in affect only since the spring, they said.

"I don't feel we have given it a fair chance to see if it

worked out," said Williams.

Wilcox said he had similar reservations.

"We have not yet had the luxury of running the system as a

complete, true business from an administrative standpoint," he

said. "Our people can do just as good a job and make money . . .

I don't think we have had enough chance or opportunity to see it

run out of our own bailiwick. …

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