County considers universal recycling bids

County considers universal recycling bids
May 18
05:50 2017



Residents in unincorporated areas of the county may see universal curbside recycling service starting this fall.

Forsyth County commissioners are considering several bids for the service to all 25,137 households in the county’s unincorporated areas. The county ended its voluntary subscription recycling service last year after two service providers didn’t renew their contracts. Providers were losing money on the service due to low participation and a downturn in the commodities market.

In February, after many complaints about the service ending, the county decided to try a new tactic: a mandatory universal service for unincorporated county residents, which they would pay with an annual fee on their property tax bill.   At the time, Minor Barnette, director of Forsyth’s environmental assistance and protection office, was hoping the service could begin by July and was confident he could negotiate the price down to below $15.

The formal bidding process took longer than expected and Barnette reported back to commissioners with the results last week.

“We had some significant responses from several companies to the request for proposals on curbside collection in the unincorporated areas of the county,” he said.

The lowest bidder, North Davidson Garbage Company, was confident it could start the service by October and would only need to charge $2.47 a month per household, which would include providing 96 gallon carts. That would come out to $29.64 annually.

“I will tell you, that’s a bargain,” said County Commissioner Chairman Dave Plyler.

The other bids for universal service with 96 gallon carts provided were Republic Services for$4.45 a month per household and Waste Management for $7.85. The prices are only what the haulers would charge. What households pay would be a little higher due to administrative fees from the county.

North Davidson Garbage Company was established in 1970 and has over 15,000 residential and commercial customers in Davidson County and surrounding areas. Any recyclables it collects are processed at its own recycling facility, which it completed in 2011.

County Commissioner Everette Witherspoon asked if the price from North Davidson might be too low for them to effectively provide the service. He was assured the county would be doing its due diligence to make sure the company can do the job.

The recycling proposal will be a part of county budget discussions, which will begin in earnest next week.

This will not affect the county’s subscription garbage collection service, which is under contract until next year. In February, commissioners did discuss the possibility of changing garbage to a universal service after that. Curbside garbage and recycling collection as a mandatory universal service could drive down the cost residents pay and reduce the amount of illegal dumping in the county.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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