The City of Swift Current will receive a discount from a contractor for entering into a longer-term agreement for residential waste collections services.

The new 10-year contract agreement with Triways Disposal Services was approved during a regular council meeting that took place via video conference, June 29.

The current residential waste collection contract between the City and Triways has been in place since 2014 and it will expire in September 2020.

Triways proposed a new 10-year contract that will include a rate decrease of 11 per cent to cart collection rates in 2021. Multi-residential and municipal facility bin rates will remain at the same rate as for 2020. In 2022 all rates will start to increase annually by 1.5 per cent for the remaining years of the contract. The estimated value of this contract for 2021 is $1.2 million.

Councillors felt the length of the contract is unusual, but the rate decrease made it an acceptable arrangement.

“The thing that really jumped out at me on this whole thing is the fact that the contract length, that being 10 years, offers an 11 per cent rate decrease,” Councillor Pat Friesen said. “So I thought that was fairly significant with the numbers of dollars that we're talking about here. So that looked good to me and I will certainly be supporting this motion.”

Councillor Bruce Deg indicated that his concerns over the length of the contract were addressed and he was also in support of the new contract.

“I too had concern about the length of the contract, but I think our solicitor has addressed some of those concerns that we had regarding that,” he said.

City General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations Mitch Minken referred to the significant investments by Triways in its business operations. The company’s local employment since September 2014 increased from four to 21 individuals, it moved to a facility on South Railway Street and it recently purchased a second facility on Brown Avenue.

“Triways was instrumental in the transition from manual waste collection to an automated cart collection service, while providing feedback on pre-existing deficiencies that have since contributed to a more cost effective and efficient collection service,” he said.

The longer term of the new contract will ensure ongoing stability of this service and at the same time there is a saving through the rate reduction.

“This stability will ensure rate stability to our residents,” he said. “So our monthly collection fee that all our residents pay obviously now will not need to change significantly based on this collection contract.”

Minken noted that there is an additional benefit to the renewal of this residential waste collection contract with Triways.

“We're in the move to decommission our East landfill and move to our West landfill over the next number of years, which will likely be within the span of this contract,” he said. “So we'll be working with this partner to make that transition from one landfill to another, which will be in the best interest of the City. A 1.5 per cent annual escalation rate is something that's pretty envious to get these days. So we're pretty happy and believe that it represents a great value for the City, especially based on Triways’ performance to date in the last six years. They've been quite good to work with and manage that contract very, very well.”

The contract includes an exit clause to make it possible for the parties to terminate the contract during the 10-year period if they feel the need to do that.

“There's always an exit clause with proper notice in that contract,” he said. “So there's an opportunity to exit if that relationship should change.”

The contract will provide a way for the two parties to negotiate the inclusion of additional services when a need for such changes are identified in the future.

“Recycling is one example, although we're committed to SaskAbilities on the recycle centre for the next while,” he said. “The other one that is of real interest to us, which we really want to explore, is yard waste collection or a green bin for collecting yard waste rather than us running yard waste depots. So those are things we talked about during the development of this contract and have build in the flexibility to be able to implement them as we go.”

Renewal of recycle depot contract with SaskAbilities:

Council approved the renewal of the contract agreement with the SaskAbilities Swift Current branch to provide operational services at the City’s residential recycle depot.

The agreement includes new hours of operation to enhance service to residents who want to drop off recyclable materials at the depot. The service hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday with the service extended to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays, excluding statutory holidays.

The three-year agreement is based on the cost of services provided plus an administration fee, which will increase by two per cent per year. The annual contract fee will be $195,547.80 in 2021. It will increase to $199,458.76 in 2022 and to $203,447.93 in 2023.

SaskAbilities has been providing this contracted operational service for the City at the residential recycle depot since 2008.

“SaskAbilities’ vision and mission is to work together to build inclusive communities for people of all abilities, and support people experiencing disability with programs and services to enhance their lives,” Minken said. “With five permanent staff positions, casual positions and over 25 per cent of the employees experiencing disability, the City of Swift Current’s recycle depot plays an important role in the mission of SaskAbilities.”

There were 35,000 visits to the residential recycle depot in 2019, which is an average of 2,900 visitors per month.

“Site staff assist residents in sorting materials into specified bins, which are weighed, baled and transported directly to recycling markets,” he said. “This operation diverted 460 tonnes of recyclable materials from the landfill in 2019.”

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