Pelham council awards garbage bid

By BRIANA HARRIS / Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council awarded its garbage bid to Florida-based Advanced Disposal at a meeting on Monday, Dec. 5.

Advanced Disposal’s three-year contract with the city is set to begin Feb. 1, said Mayor Gary Waters. Until then, Trash Taxi will continue to provide garbage services for the city.

Waters said it will take Advanced Disposal about 60 days to order and deliver trash and recycle receptacles throughout the city. Four companies submitted bids to the city, but Waters said it really came down to two providers – Advanced Disposal and Santek Waste Services. Trash Taxi did not submit a bid for the contract.

“I did the math and Advanced Disposal’s bid beat Santek’s by 32 cents per resident per garbage cycle,” Waters said.

Advanced Disposal placed a bid of $12.40 per month for weekly R1 pickup, which is one residential garbage and one residential recycling pickup. Waters said about 8,500 Pelham residents fall into the R1 category, which is the biggest concern for the city.

With the new garbage service comes a higher fee for residents. Finance Director Tom Seale said R1 customers currently pay $9.81 month for garbage and recycling services, but that price will increase once Advanced Disposal’s contract begins. It will be an increase of $2.59 per month.

Seale said about 95 percent of residents fall into the R1 category. Waters said the increase is unavoidable.

“You get what you pay for,” Waters said. “In order to get better than what we had, we’re going to have to pay more.”

Waters said Santek and Advanced Disposal met all of the specifications outlined in the bid. Waters contacted some of the municipalities that utilize Advanced Disposal’s services, and he said some reviews were favorable and some were not.

“In all of my years I’ve never known a garbage service to be stellar,” he said. “We had no credible reason not to accept their low bid. When I was calling around I did get a lot of good reports about how quickly they respond to issues and complaints, so that’s definitely a good thing.

“From the start we’re going to make sure that the guidelines stipulated in the contract are met every week,” Waters said at the meeting. “We are going to handle each complaint as it is specified in the contract.”

At the meeting, an Advanced Disposal representative said that the company will be putting new trucks in routes throughout the city. He said the company can provide the city with daily and weekly lists of complaints received through the company’s customer service center and how those complaints were handled.

Advanced Disposal provides garbage services for 50 cities and counties in Alabama.