The cost of picking up garbage for most town of Port Royal residents and small businesses won't rise -- at least not now -- but other changes that are part of a new service contract will be noticeable within months.
The most significant will be new, larger trash bins in their driveways.
Port Royal Town Council on Wednesday approved a five-year contract with Waste Pro to pick up household and small-business garbage. Waste Pro already provides curb-side collection of recyclable items, and the town collects yard debris.
The garbage contract starts at just more than $123,500 a year and will be adjusted according to cost-of-living and fuel costs, town engineer Tony Maglioni said.
The service currently is performed by the town, at a cost of about $184,000, he added.
Currently, all 1,742 residences and 33 small businesses pay $16.50 for trash, recycling and yard-debris pick up. That is insufficient to cover costs, so service is subsidized by the town's general fund, Willis said.
Had the town decided to continue its own trash pick-up, it would have needed to purchase three new trash trucks at a combined cost of about $560,000. That would likley have increased monthly rates by $6 to $7 for the next five to seven years, officials said.
With the new contract, Maglioni expects Port Royal residents will not see another rate increase for a year or two.
In coming months, Waste Pro will phase in use of new trucks with automated side-loading arms that can lift trash bins. The company has both side-laoding trucks and trucks that are loaded by workers. The automated trucks require less manpower, which lowers the cost.
The side-loading trucks require 105-gallon bins; the town currently uses 90-gallon bins. Waste Pro will provide new the bins.
Maglioni said the town could look into using the 90-gallon bins for recycling and cutting recycling pick-up back to once every two weeks, to save more money.
Maglioni said the town's two employees who pick up trash would become employees of the contracted company and layoffs would not be necessary.
Waste Pro also submitted a more expensive proposal, for $138,000, to continue the use of manually loaded trucks. Rival company Republic submitted a bid to charge all customers $9 and continue the same service schedule currently followed by the town.
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Port Royal considers contracting trash pickup to save money, June 12, 2013
At annual retreat, Port Royal council looks to the future, March 23, 2013