MADEIRA BEACH — At a workshop on October 5, the city council decided to maintain the recycling program, but some changes are planned, including new vendors and increased costs.
The city recently solicited bids for a new five-year contract for its services, as the current recycling vendor contract expires on December 31st. Of his two bids received, the lowest bidder was Waste Pro, at $12 per month per household. That’s a lot more than the $7 a month the city currently pays. Given the difficult conditions in the recycling market, the price increase was not unexpected.
The current service provider, Waste Connections, has bid $14 for housing services. This is double what he currently charges for $7.
Both bidders also submitted commercial business estimates. This is based on the number of carts/trash cans collected from your business in a month. The condo is also included in that price. Waste Pro was also the lowest bidder in this category for a typical corporate customer.
Since it was a workshop, no official vote was held, but it was clear that the commissioner wanted to select the lowest bidder, Waste Pro. will be split.
As City Manager Robin Gomez said, both vendors are well equipped to serve, so the decision comes down to the best price.
All households are required to pay a monthly recycling fee regardless of whether they participate in recycling. Gomez said 65% of his 60% of city residents recycle, which he said was “quite high.”
Mayor John Hendricks said the city was in “sticker shock” over last year’s recycling fee hike because the city stopped subsidizing the program, which would be a “worse” hike. Told.
“The market[for recycled materials]is not coming back,” Hendricks said. He said a significant portion of the items placed in recycling bins are sent to landfills along with regular trash.
Hendricks said he agreed to do away with recycling “for the time being,” as many other communities have done.
However, other committee members supported the continuation of the program as it was the right thing to do for the environment.
Commissioner Ray Carr said he agreed with the mayor from a financial standpoint, “but we also need to be good stewards of the environment.” He added that it would not be a real financial hardship for most residents.
Gomez said it would not be a popular decision to end the recycling program.
“Regardless of how we proceed, we will hear from residents, but I certainly think eliminating recycling will get more comments,” the city manager said. “There will be excitement.”
He also said the Pinellas County government aims to promote recycling throughout the community.
Manager gets praise and gets a raise
Gomez drew praise from Hendricks and others for extending his employment contract for a year and preparing to give him a $5,000 annual raise.
Hendrix said Gomez, who was hired on a two-year contract last December, “did a great job.”
Commissioner David Tagliani said Gomez was out when he shouldn’t have been during the hurricane, providing regular updates and replying to emails. I was impressed with the special assignment. “
All other committee members agreed with Hendrix’s proposal for a raise and contract extension for Gomez. Gomez, who has a year left on his contract, was asked if he would be willing to stay at Madeira Beach to extend his contract. He replied that he was very happy in this city.
“I love this city, I love its people, and I look forward to spending the next few years here,” Gomez said. He also said he was happy to be surrounded by great staff. “I am as successful as the staff,” he said.
City Attorney Thomas Trask said he will prepare an amendment to Gomez’s current contract for approval by the next commission.