BURRILLVILLE – The Burrillville Town Council has unanimously approved a five-year, $5.8 million contract with Waste Management for trash and recycling collection, along with the purchase of 412 new refuse and recycling carts at a cost of $33,810.
The decision came at the request of Public Works Director Jeff McCormick, Trash & Recycling Coordinator Andrea Hall and Finance Director Leslie McGovern.
Waste Management, a Cranston-based company that holds contracts for several local municipalities, was first selected for a five-year contract in Burrillville in 2012 via a competitive bidding process. The original agreement was extended for another five years in 2017.
“We have had them for ten years now and they have performed excellent,” noted a communication to Town Manager Michael Wood on the request. “The routes and collection days are efficient, collection is consistent, streets are clean and complaints are minimal.”
“I think Waste Management has performed admirably,” McCormick said at a meeting last Wednesday.
Hall said that prior to the change from the town’s previous servicer, Coastal Recycling, her office was receiving 30-40 complaint calls a day regarding trash collection.
“As the person who answers the complaint calls, this is way better,” Hall said.
“If you remember the days when Coastal was here, it was a toss up whether you’d get your garbage picked up or not, and there were a lot of break downs, a lot of hydraulic leaks,” McCormick said. “On a windy day, the recyclables would be all down the road.”
The contract with Waste Management, which currently costs the town $1,033,049 for a year, will increase by 3-5 percent each year of the agreement, bringing the fee up to $1,234,087 by 2027. The communication notes that Burrillville pays less per housing unit than most surrounding communities at $13.72 for 6,042 residential housing units, including neighboring North Smithfield where the cost is $16.75 per unit.
The proponents pointed to rising costs in the decision to renew with Waste Management by extension, rather than re-bid the service.
“The competition is unlikely to perform anywhere near the level of service residents have grown accustomed,” the write-up notes.
“I think it’s worked out really well,” McCormick said.
The team also requested the purchase of 412 new refuse and recycling carts at a cost of $33,810, noting that the town is running low on stock to distribute at new residential units. The carts, which will be ordered from the original provider, Rehrig Pacific Co., are expected to take around 12 weeks to come in.
“They’ve been stolen. They’ve been burned. They’ve been sold at a yard sale,” said McCormick. “We’ve lost them. They just disappear somehow.”
Town Councilor Donald Fox said the rising cost for the service is inevitable.
“There’s increases on everything,” Fox said. “I think people have to realize that this is one of our larger line items in our budget every year.”