County, city approve recycling contract

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FRANKLIN—The Franklin City Council and the Southampton County Board of Supervisors approved a joint 39-month contract for recycling services with Moody’s/AVES of Smithfield on Monday.

The two communities started working together to secure a new provider after the Southeastern Public Service Authority, which currently provides recycling services to the two communities, announced it would cease handling recyclables after March 31.

Franklin officials say residents should notice no change in the pickup schedule or billing.

“You will only see different trucks,” said City Manager June Fleming. She said pickup would occur on the same days with the same materials. She said the city worked to make the transition as “seamless” as possible.

Fleming said the city would continue using the SPSA recycling bins. Public Works employees will come by each residence and put city of Franklin stickers on top of the SPSA emblems. The city wasn’t required to pay for the bins.

Southampton County Administrator Mike Johnson told the board that the cost of curbside collection for county residents would be $2.66 per residence per month, which amounts to $38,272.08 for the whole county per year. Pick-up times will be twice weekly on Thursday and Friday. Under the contract, AVES will service the recycling containers at the county’s convenience centers for $165 per occurrence. Johnson said the cost of that service would be about $16,500, making the total annual cost for recycling services to be about $48,772.08.

“You may recall that our fiscal 2010 budget included $33,562 for recycling services,” Johnson said Monday. “As we discussed at the Jan. 14 meeting, the net increase is roughly $15,000 annually, which we expect to mitigate with higher rates of participation, greater volumes of recyclables and diversion of the waste away from SPSA’s waste stream from Southampton County Public Schools.”

Assistant Southampton County Administrator Jay Randolph said Tuesday that the county is currently working on a request for proposals for the disposal of five percent of its trash, namely the garbage from the county’s schools and from other county property, including the administration building and the school division’s administration building, both of which are in Courtland.

“We are obligated to send 95 percent of the county’s solid waste to SPSA,” Randolph said. “We’re looking to the private sector to dispose of the remaining five percent. We’re pretty confident they will be able to do that for a flat, monthly fee.”

Randolph said county personnel currently haul garbage from the schools and other county property — estimated at between 40 and 50 tons per month — to SPSA’s Franklin Transfer Station, located on General Thomas Highway. The county pays a tipping fee of $170 per ton for the garbage to be taken there, which Randolph said figures to be about $8,500 a month.

“In the past we haven’t taken the effort (to find a disposal alternative), but it’s gotten to the point where budgets are very tight and we need to save money everywhere we can,” Randolph said. “We’re confident that we will see significant savings by going with the private sector.”

Fleming said working with Southampton County on the contract “was quite a good experience.” The contract takes effect April 1.