Rates are going up in west Albany. The question is: who will pick up your garbage starting next month, city of Albany workers or a private company?
City commissioners are trying to make that decision. Halling Refuse workers pick up yard trash. Their contract to pick up garbage at nearly 12,000 homes west of Slappey Boulevard in Albany runs out at the end of the month.
A Texas company, Red River Service Company, has submitted the low bid for a five-year contract. But city commissioners are considering letting City workers take over the service.
The east side of Albany garbage is now picked up by the city. City Commissioner Bo Dorough said, "This is obviously a big decision. There is a consensus that the solid waste collection has been less than acceptable for the last two years. We have to make a move."
If the contract is given to Red River, early estimates are your garbage rates would go up from the current $17.75 a month to $18.16. City service is estimated at $18.49 a month.
But the city would have to pay huge up front expenses to handle the garbage. It's estimated that 18 new employees would cost almost $761,000 the first year. New pieces of equipment would cost $1.6 million. The maintenance on that equipment would be another $107,000 the first year.
City Commissioner Arthur Williams said, "We want to give the best bang for the lowest buck. We want to make sure that we are customer friendly. And I believe the private sector would be involved." City commissioners want to do more research on Red River Waste.
The company has picked up garbage at military installations, but never for a city service like this.
City commissioners are scheduled to talk about West Albany's garbage service again Tuesday night.