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Jeannette considers all options in trash, recycling haulers

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The City of Jeannette is actively looking for alternatives to its in-house garbage collection services.

City engineer Ed Antonacci told council last week that several proposals have come in from various trash haulers responding to the city's request for proposals.

“I'm talking to three huge trash collectors and three smaller mom-and-pop collectors who are interested,” said Antonacci. “They're asking questions and this (the request) was just for information (not for bids).

“One of the most serious questions that was asked is if the union will sign off on this, because according to the solicitor the union needs to OK it.”

The city's sanitation department union, which approved a new contract this year, must approve any move by the city to eliminate the department in order to outsource the work.

Antonacci said he's also being asked about the delinquency rate in the city —in other words, the prospective garbage haulers want to know how many residents do not pay their garbage bills.

“Some municipalities are tying the garbage bills to electric or heating bills so they still collect garbage (if the bill is overdue) but they will shut off the water or the electric for non-payment of garbage bills,” Antonacci said.

Garbage must be collected as it presents a public health hazard if not collected. Essentially, tying the bills to another utility that could be shut off might be a deterrent to those who don't pay their garbage bills.

Michael Foreman of the Department of Community and Economic Development and the city's navigator through the Pre-Act 47 process said he will visit the October work session of council with representatives of Civic Research Alliance to discuss aspects of the ongoing staffing study in the city.

The main item on the agenda for the Oct. 7 meeting at 6 p.m. in City Hall will be the potential for outsourcing the garbage. Council asked Civic Research Alliance representatives to tackle the garbage department portion of the staffing study first and to be done by October so they can use the information as they prepare to build the 2014 budget.

“They (Civic Research Alliance) will present the garbage and recycling feasibility study,” said Foreman. “This information will help us talk to the union to negotiate.”

Foreman also suggested holding a conference with all interested garbage haulers to see what their suggestions and requirements might be to take on pick-up in the city.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at klinden@tribweb.com or 724-838-5154.

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