The city of Wixom has extended its contract with Waste Management, a move that will also expand the range of recyclable materials accepted.
The Wixom City Council approved the contract that was reviewed by the Resource, Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County (RRRASOC) board, at its March 27 meeting.
A trio of scenarios were proposed prior to the council making its final decision. Under the first option, there was no change to service or price. Another option would have retained the existing collection system while lowering the price and adjusting any potential fuel surcharge downward in exchange for an extension through June 30, 2018.
The City Council opted for a contract that provides larger recycling carts, lowers the price, mitigates fuel surcharges and deploys automated collection vehicles in exchange for a lengthier contract.
“This was a shorter-term contract, but we wanted the system collection changed a bit,” said Assistant City Manager Tony Nowicki. “It will now be better for residents and best suit their needs.”
The amended contract runs from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2022 and was inked with savings at the front end amounting to $71,000 through 2016.
“In the current budget year, there will be no increase or decrease,” Nowicki said. “It is calculated annually and includes contract and operation costs, as well as other costs involved.”
Nowicki noted that in 2008, the cost to each resident was $165 annually. That amount was reduced to $155 and has remained steady for several years.
“It will be $155 per resident during the next fiscal year, as well,” Nowicki said.
The minimum percentage is being charged to cover funding for the recycling containers and eventual purchase of new trucks that will run on compressed natural gas in an effort to reduce road wear, air emissions and noise on the roads.
Also included in pricing is a fuel surcharge that kicks in when the price of fuel reaches $3.71 per gallon, up from the former $2.80 per gallon trigger, a hike which will more accurately reflect current gas prices. The modified fuel surcharge is still expected to save the city nearly $6,800, or a 1.5 percent cost reduction annually, according to city officials.
Costs rolled out in the contract are pegged at $1.74 million through 2016; $2.68 million through 2018; and $4.68 million through 2022.
In the new contract, Waste Management agreed to provide residents with the option of three container sizes (96-, 64- or 35-gallon containers). Initially each resident will receive a 64-gallon container and will have until Oct. 1 to request a different size at no cost by contacting the Department of Public Works.
“The 64-gallon container is most commonly used across the country,” said RRRASOC General Manager Mike Csapo. “After they get the 64-gallon cart, they will have between then and Oct. 1 to get a bigger or smaller cart. They just have to call Wixom DPW and the contractor, Waste Management, will swap it out for them.”
Recycling collection will now be automated, meaning that residents will be able to put more recyclable materials into a single, large cart for curbside collection.
“Before we only took plastic bottles. Now we’ve added wide-mouth containers like Cool Whip containers, margarine tubs, strawberry containers, yogurt cups, etc.,” Csapo said. “We eliminated No. 4 plastics and plastic bags because there’s no market for them.”
Agricultural pots and flats will now also be collected.
The RRRASOC Material Recovery Facility will sort recyclables and ultimately sell them, unlike formerly when recyclables were sorted curbside.