Niagara Gazette — Council approval is not a given, according to Council Chairman Charles Walker, who described city cost figures tied to the agreement as a “shocker” and substantially higher than city lawmakers expected. The cost over the course the entire five-year deal could reach $15 million. Under the estimates provided by the company, the city would pay roughly $2.7 million for trash collection and recycling services per year under the agreement.
Walker said council members are in the process of reviewing the proposal and he would expect them to have questions for the administration at Monday’s council meeting.
“We still want to sit down and really look at the details,” he said.
From his initial review of the agreement, Walker said it’s clear strengthening the city’s current recycling practices will be key to getting the best value for taxpayers.
“It all goes to compliance and making sure we stay on top of this and making sure people do what they need to do,” Walker said.
City Administrator Donna Owens said the new deal adds services for the city currently not offered by Modern, adding that cost estimates are about $500,000 less per year when compared to the 2013 and 2014 values contained in the current contract.
Owens stressed that costs tied to the agreement are based on estimates from the company and could be reduced over time, especially if the city is able to improve its recycling practices and reduce its costs for refuse disposal in the process. She also characterized the city’s current recycling rate of 4 percent as “terrible” and said it is the city’s goal to raise that rate to at least 20 percent over the five-year period. Employing bins for garbage collection and recycling will improve the overall efficiency of the city’s trash program and contribute to cleaner neighborhoods as well, she said.