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City moves toward new waste contract
The city of Brunswick could see an improvement in waste collection in the fall.

City commissioners gave City Manager Bill Weeks their blessing to move forward with negotiations with Waste Management to take over solid waste and recycling collection and disposal services in the city.

Four of the five city commissioners supported the proposal at Wednesday's commission meeting after realizing that contracting out the service would be a major benefit for city residents. It would improve services.

Mayor Pro Tem James Brooks opposed the move, casting the only vote against it. Supporting it were Mayor Bryan Thompson and Commissioners Cornell Harvey, Julie Martin and Johnny Cason.

Waste Management currently serves McIntosh County and Jekyll Island, as well as other municipalities worldwide.

The private company's management of the service in Brunswick would be more efficient for the city's almost 4,500 residential and commercial customers, Weeks said.

"Out of the bids we received, Waste Management did the best as far as cost and services," Weeks said. "They were the most experienced nationally and internationally. They know what they are doing."

Waste Management's bid detailed collection services and kept the monthly rate of $21.22 the same. Weekly curbside, dumpster and yard debris pick up is included in the service.

Weeks said keeping up with weekly yard pick up has been a struggle.

"We get probably 10 to 12 calls a day about that," he said.

The company also would offer bimonthly curbside pick up of recyclables, a service now unavailable in the city.

The city's 14 sanitation workers are not a part of the proposal, but Waste Management would need to hire six employees and would give special consideration to former city workers as long as they met the company's criteria, Weeks said.

Additionally, Waste Management would purchase needed equipment from the city and help with the disposition of equipment not needed.

The contract would be for an annual amount of nearly $750,000.

That reflects a substantial cost savings.

"Right now, we pay around $1.25 million, so this would bring us about $500,000 a year," Weeks said. "Compared to where we were, this is pretty good."

Weeks said if negotiations go well, the city could approve a contract at the July 18 commission meeting. The company would have 60 to 90 days to take over the service.

"I think Oct. 1 is a good start date to aim for," Weeks said.

Waste collection in Glynn County, as well as a curbside recycling service, is handled by Southland Waste Systems.

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