Gretna this week will renew its garbage contract with IESI, signing on for a 10-year term that will bring curbside recycling to the city for the first time this fall at no additional cost.
Mayor Belinda Constant said she expects to sign the contract with the company formerly known as Progressive Waste Solutions on Monday. She said it will keep the cost at $15.73 for each of Gretna’s roughly 6,900 homes, businesses and apartments.
The previous contract was for five years, plus options, and Constant said the longer term helped the city get some concessions that it otherwise wouldn’t have been able to — recycling chief among them.
“We’ve been waiting for it a while, and people in the city have been waiting for a while,” she said. “Everybody is really excited.”
Gretna residents will begin receiving recycling bins in August, and the program could begin as early as September, though there is no exact start date yet. Small businesses are included in the recycling program.
The wheeled containers will be available for purchase.
The list of recyclables that will be collected does not include glass.
Constant said residents have been asking for curbside recycling since 2007, but the city was able to negotiate only two drop-off sites in 2010 under its previous contract.
Councilman Joe Marino said he’s glad to see curbside recycling come to the city, noting that the popularity of the drop-off sites indicates the need.
“These things are being packed,” he said. “People are just filling them up quicker than you can imagine, so obviously, there’s a large number of people who are willing to drive to recycle. It’s something that our residents want.”
Marino said he’d like to try to expand the contract to add recycling of other materials, such as batteries.
Constant said the renewed contract will include the standard annual rate increase pegged to the consumer price index, starting in July 2015. The contract includes no CPI increase this year, she said.
Another improvement is that IESI has agreed to double the amount of curbside debris it will remove per household to 8 cubic yards, Constant said.
Because it is a professional-services contract, the city was free to award the garbage contract based on other factors besides cost. Constant said the city decided to simply renegotiate its deal with its existing contractor and didn’t solicit any other proposals.
“We’ve had a long-standing, good relationship with this company,” she said. “We’ve benefited from … the service we’ve gotten.”
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.