South Haven Signs New 5-Year Pact for Household Waste Service | Local News
After more than two decades of service from the same company, the City of South Haven decided to contract with another household garbage service.
The decision was made to include garbage collection and recycling for residents.
South Haven City Council members voted last Monday to sign a five-year contract with Kalamazoo-based Best Way Disposal, which also has an office in Watervliet.
The new pact, which begins in December, would end a long-term relationship the city has with Republic Service of Jension. In the 1990s, the city signed a long-term contract with Reliable Disposal of South Haven to provide residential waste transportation services. The contract was renewed again in 2006 for an additional 15 years and remained valid when Reliable was acquired by Republic.
“It’s been 15 years since the city launched a tender for a solid waste management and recycling service,” said Deputy City Manager Griffin Graham. “Two proposals were accepted, one by Republic and the second by Best Way. An internal committee evaluated the proposals and conducted interviews and unanimously identified Best Way as offering the best value. They provide disposal assistance from Watervliet and other offices in the Midwest … They already provide services to commercial businesses in South Haven and they have always known the area.
There will be several changes with Best Way that will affect residents of the Town of South Haven. Currently, customers drop off their garbage, recyclables or yard waste at the curb every Monday for pickup. Under the new contract, garbage and recyclables will be picked up on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the part of town residents.
Residential units will each receive a 96 gallon garbage, recycling and yard waste cart. Additional material placed by each cart will be collected once a month. If the resident has additional equipment more often, an additional cart can be rented for a fee.
As part of the contract, Best Way will work with the city to communicate the services it will provide to residents of the town of South Haven, according to Graham.
“Best Way and the city will work closely to communicate with residents, including introductory letters and other methods of communication to make sure people know the changes to come,” he said. declared. “Best Way has gone through transitions like this before.”
Like a number of other cities, residential solid waste and recycling services in the City of South Haven are funded by a voter-approved tax levy of 1.4 thousandth.
For the budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which began in July, the City plans to generate $ 552,130 in revenue from the residential tax on garbage and garbage and forecasts expenditures of $ 525,122 for a balance of 27 $ 008 to increase the overall balance of the fund in the trash. and decline the fund at $ 228,119.
The tax will not increase with the new contract, however, the new garbage service contract comes with higher rates, which worried council member Joe Reeser.
“I have experienced Best Way… they are constantly increasing their prices,” he said.
With the new contract, a standard cart per household will cost $ 15.80 per week for the first year. By year five, the cost will drop to $ 18.48 per week.
City staff acknowledged that rates would increase, but responded that Republic and Best Way offer five-year contracts with higher rates than the city negotiated 15 years ago for the service of. garbage removal. At that time, the rates negotiated under the contract with Reliable / Republic increased each year with increases in the cost of living.
“We are seeing a very different world of waste and recycling,” said City Manager Kate Hosier. “When you have a contract that has not been reviewed for 15 years, you will see a rise in rates. “
Among the proposals put forward by Republic and Best Way for the new 5-year pact, Best Way’s rates are higher than the rate proposed by Republic, but municipal staff defended the committee’s decision to go with the highest bidder.
Staff members said that over the past two years, residents of the city have complained about the level of service provided by Republic and the company no longer using its local office on Aylworth Avenue in South Haven. to provide customer service.
“The problems we have been having have been going on for two years,” Hosier said. “We try to get the best customer service possible.”
Graham agreed. “Best Way will base its customer service and operations at Watervliet,” he said. “They know the area and the roads. When contacting Best Way, they are relatively local. We found additional value in it.
But Graham also acknowledged that in the future, the city will most likely have to increase the mileage rate for the garbage service.
“The Town of South Haven is allowed to charge a maximum of just over 2 mills for the garbage recycling service. In recent years, including the 2021 tax year, the City has taken only 1.4 vintages, ”he said. “This equates to a taxpayer paying around $ 280 per year for a house with an assessed value of $ 200,000 / market value of $ 400,000.
“All of the proposals submitted during this most recent process included significant rate increases over the existing contract dating back to 2006. This matches industry-wide trends. In short, I expect that the tax levy used to pay for this service will have to be increased during the term of this new contract, but the exact amount or the exact time of this increase cannot be determined at this time.