DONALDSONVILLE — Frustrated with what it called a lack of proper service, the City Council voted Tuesday to not renew its current five-year solid waste disposal contract with Progressive Waste Solutions.
The council also authorized Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr., city attorney Chuck Long and city engineering firm GSA Consulting Engineers to begin seeking service proposals.
The move came after council members criticized Progressive for not picking up bulk waste piles in the city for weeks.
“It’s not only my district, but the entire city,” Councilman Emile Spano said. “The piles are escalating.”
The city’s contract with SWDI, now operating as Progressive Waste Solutions, expires Sept. 1. However, Long said, the contract contains an option to automatically renew for another five years.
Long added that the city can withhold payment to Progressive if it feels services were not properly rendered.
“We need to hit them where it hurts — in the pocket,” Spano said.
Progressive missed three of four scheduled June pick-up dates in District 5, which Spano represents. He added that when a truck did arrive, it was not properly equipped and could remove only a partial amount of bulk waste.
Spano said Progressive officials told him the company is waiting for parts to repair its boom crane truck that services the city.
“They surely have more than one boom truck,” he said. “It’s a big company. There’s no reason they should be missing us like this.”
Sullivan, Spano and other councilmen said they have repeatedly called Progressive to complain, but little has been done to address the problem.
“When you finally get through to them, they come out, but why do we have things done?” asked Councilman Charles Brown Sr.
The mayor said he was “tired of the excuses,” calling the Progressive officials’ promises “lip service.”
“I sympathize with the breakdown, but that’s not our problem,” Spano said. “They have to service us because we pay them every month.”