The City Council extended for another five years Walker’s garbage contract with Waste Management, allowing it to lock in rates for the next two years.

The extension, approved during a council meeting last week, will keep the contract in effect until March 1, 2021, with the current rates remaining in effect through 2017, according to language the council approved at its Nov. 9 regular meeting. Otherwise, the rates are set according to the consumer price index.

“Waste Management has done a very good job with providing service to our citizens,” said Fred Raiford, the city’s chief of operations. “This gives us an opportunity to at least stabilize our costs.”

The monthly rates that will remain in effect through 2017 are $13.19 per household or $8.68 for seniors, he said.

Raiford said the lock-in will be beneficial to residents, who won’t face the annual increases typically associated with the consumer price index.

“Just last year, we were about 1.5 to 2 percent on the increase,” he said.

Raiford praised Waste Management for providing citywide cleanups and for its conversion to compressed natural gas vehicles, which he said are more environmentally friendly and less noisy.

Mayor Rick Ramsey said the fleet conversion also has financial benefits for the city, which sells the company natural gas.

“I think that’s a positive for us,” Ramsey said.

“They’ve made investments in this city. They’ve made investments in us, and I would obviously support having this contract for the next five years.”

Acceptance of the contract extension was unanimous.

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