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Wednesday, 11 July 2012 10:32

New solid waste collection contract for Swift Current

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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The City of Swift Current has entered into a new agreement for residential solid waste collection with the current service provider during the transition period that will see the opening of a new landfill site.


Councillors approved the two-year contract agreement with Waste Management Inc. at their regular council meeting on July 9.
Waste Management Inc. has been providing residential solid waste collection services to the City since 1998. The company currently collects garbage from 7,480 residential units in Swift Current. The contract includes collection services at various City facilities, service to the City's recycle depot, a separate yard waste pickup as well as supplying and transporting roll-off bins for Christmas tree pick-up.
Director of Engineering Mac Forster said the City was initially considering a one-year contract agreement while preparations are made to use the new landfill site, which are located northwest of Swift Current.
“There's a transition period when we will continue to operate the east landfill, but through negotiations we felt the best option was to extend it for a two-year period to give the department and the City sufficient time to consider options with regards to residential waste collection moving forward,” he explained.
The City will be following a tender process for the appointment of a contractor to provide this residential solid waste collection service after the expiry of the new two-year contract.
The new contract with Waste Management Inc. includes an increase for solid waste collection per residence from $7.23 to $7.98. This $0.75 increase is largely due to a 60 per cent increase in the landfill tipping fee over the last two years.
The landfill tipping fee represents about 25 per cent of the total sold waste collection fee and it is part of the City's revenue stream at the landfill. The second year of the new contract will apply the Saskatchewan Consumer Price Index (CPI) to the 2012/12 rate. The CPI increased with 1.5 per cent from 2011 to 2012.
Despite these contractual fee increases, Swift Current residents will not experience any increase on the existing $8 per month waste collection fee that is charged to single-family homeowners. But Forster said the City will be looking closely at changing this fee in the near future.
“That $8 has been in place for a number of years now and as cost continue to creep up we will be looking fairly hard at these rates in this next budget year,” he mentioned. “And we're not only going to look at the rates itself but what kind of service we're providing to residents.”
Other cities are looking at different types of material diversion programs and the City of Swift Current will also consider various options for garbage collection in future as a way to prolong the useable life of its new landfill site.

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