Changes coming to Helena garbage and recycling services

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–A different garbage and recycling company has won the bid to replace Republic Services, Inc. for the city of Helena’s residential solid waste and recycling collection and disposal.

The Helena City Council awarded the bid to Santek Waste Services on June 12, to replace Republic Services effective Sept. 1, when the current contract is set to expire.

Helena residents will see a 49-cent decrease on their monthly garbage and recycling rates with the switch to Santek Waste Services.

With the current contract with Republic Services, Helena residents are paying $12.99 per month for garbage and recycling collection and Helena city officials were informed that that rate was set to rise after Sept. 1.

This prompted the switch to Santek Waste Services, whose new rate will be $12.50 per month, and bills will be sent quarterly.

When it comes to the size of the trash and recycling cans, the Santek cans will be exactly the same size as what Helena residents currently have.

“For the citizens, everything is going to stay the same when the trash comes, and hopefully it will be a seamless product switching to the new cans,” Helena Councilman Hal Woodman said. “I know that’s always the hardship when we change companies, but on the bright side we’re actually saving citizens money. Whereas our current company went up in rates.”

Garbage will be picked up weekly and recycling will be picked up biweekly.

When Sept. 1 nears, Santek Waste Services representatives will be out replacing both trash and recycling residential cans to ensure a smooth transition.

“I just want to say thanks to Republic for all they’ve done. I know there were some significant challenges there with the rates going up, and reasons for that on your side,” Helena Mayor Mark Hall said. “We appreciate all the things that you’ve done because it was the first company we used in the transition to private garbage service. It’s really just a rate issue, and the service was good.”

In the coming weeks, Helena residents should receive more information from Santek on the change and make a website available.

In addition to Helena, Santek also serves the cities of Hoover, Trussville, Gardendale and an unincorporated segment of Blount County.