By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN Three solid waste removal companies attempted to persuade the Winsted City Council Tuesday evening to choose their services, but in the end, only one will get to take residents’ garbage.
The council approved a contract with Waste Management, effective Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2015, with annual terms. Council Member Bonnie Quast abstained from the vote, because of a relative who works at Waste Management.
Waste Management has been serving the city for many years. Under the newly approved contract, 32-gallon trash pickup is $10.92 per month (including tax). Senior citizens (ages 62 and older) with a 32-gallon container will receive a discounted rate of $9.61 per month.
A 64-gallon container pickup will be $11.64 per month, and a 96-gallon container pickup will be $15.09 per month.
The city’s new contract offers a savings from the current prices, which are $11.49/month for 32 gallons, $12.27 for 64 gallons, and $17.97 for 96 gallons.
In August, the council directed city staff to advertise a request for proposals (RFP) for the city’s residential solid waste removal contract. In addition to Waste Management, Elite Waste Disposal in Jordan and Randy’s Environmental Services in Delano also submitted proposals.
Elite’s prices were the lowest, at $9.60 for 32 gallons, $10.70 for 64 gallons, and $11.80 for 96 gallons. Randy’s prices were similar, at $9.80 for 32 gallons, $11.80 for 64 gallons, and $13.80 for 96 gallons. Randy’s also offered a discount for quarterly billing.
Currently, most Winsted households (620) use a 64-gallon container. Seventy-two customers use a 32-gallon container, and 23 have a 96-gallon container.
“The number of customers in each category can change at any time,” City Administrator Brad Martens said.
Before representatives from Waste Management, Randy’s Environmental Services, and Elite Waste Disposal presented their qualifications, Council Member Tom Ollig stated that Waste Management has provided good service to Winsted residents in the past.
Waste Management’s Winsted driver, Ken Radtke, is a resident of Winsted who has been serving the city for more than 25 years.
Ollig stated that if Winsted switches to a different hauler, Waste Management might have to reduce its workforce, impacting employees who live in the community.
“I think that needs to be considered, as well,” he said. “Is a 94-cent change worth the confusion?”
Waste Management representative Darrell Hoekstra stated that all three proposals are very close.
“We have made a big investment in the city of Winsted over the years,” he said, referring to property taxes and donations.