trash pick up

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Residents will soon see a $3 hike per month for solid waste service under a new contract between the county and Republic Services.

The commission approved a one year contract extension with Republic at their regular meeting Tuesday night. As part of the extension the cost of monthly service will increase from $13 to $16 beginning with the next billing cycle.

County manager Jason Rubenbauer explained the one year deal is a “good faith” effort between the county and Republic to work out a better, long-term deal.

Republic is the successor company to the county’s original vendor in 1996, Southland Waste. The county has renewed its contract with the company in five year deals since that time. The county’s current contract had been in place from 2013 and expired June 30, 2018. Since that time, County Manager Jason Rubenbauer and Republic’s area sales manager, Ivan Figueroa, have been in negotiations for a new contract.

Republic had asked that monthly rates increase to $17 per month for residential service and that a new agreement be made regarding the county’s convenience center on County Farm Road. If the convenience center were no longer part of the contract, Republic would offer residential service at $15.88 per month.

Rubenbauer made a counter offer setting the rate at $16 per month for residential service and keeping the convenience center in place as is.

Figueroa told commissioners Tuesday night he had received approval from management to accept the deal as the company and county continue the “talk through process.”

Figueroa said Republic appreciates the working relationship and long partnership with Pierce County.

He said the company is working to address illegal dumping problems county-wide and especially in regards to keeping the Satilla River clean.

Figueroa and Rubenbauer say they are still brainstorming and working on options to address both issues.

“Republic Services has committed to working with us to develop viable solutions to our issues of illegal dumping and to working with the River Keeper as well to address concerns of ensuring the Satilla remains a vibrant resource for generations to come,” said Rubenbauer.

The manager said specific options have not yet been finalized.

Figueroa also highlighted technology improvements that allow the company to track trucks along the route and re-direct them for missed pick-ups.

He also reported the company has created a Smartphone APP for paying bills, lodging complaints, reporting missed pick-ups and other services.