City to dump Waste Management next July

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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Following a closed session during its July 10 meeting, Albemarle City Council announced that effective July 1, 2024 it will not renew its contract with Waste Management, which currently handles the city’s collection of garbage, recyclables and yard waste, including seasonal leaf collection.

The decision comes after frequent complaints to council and staff from city residents regarding the quality of service being provided by the solid waste contractor.

“Council discussed the Waste Management contract for next year, and we have decided to notify them that we will not be renewing their contract,” Mayor Ronnie Michael said.

He continued by stating the council’s intent to have the city absorb some elements of WM’s service.

“Council has decided to pursue a couple of options,” he said. “One, I’ll entertain a motion that Council take into consideration bringing all of the yard waste (limb pickup, loose leaf collection, etc.) in-house, and do that with our personnel, starting July 1 of next year.”

Councilman David Hunt moved that this arrangement be implemented, seconded by Councilman Bill Aldridge. The motion passed 6-1, with Councilman Dexter Townsend opposed.

Michael then stated the second part of the proposal.

“The last (part) is that we send out an RFP (Request for Proposals) for solid waste services, consisting of bi-weekly recycling collection, weekly MSW (municipal solid waste) collection, bulk items, construction and demolition waste and white goods. We will look to get bids to start that contract on July 1 also,” he announced.

On a motion by Aldridge and second by Townsend, Council then voted unanimously to issue the RFP.

Also announced following the closed session was the council’s decision to decline an offer submitted to the city for the old police department building at the corner of Second and North streets.

Councilman Chris Bramlett moved, seconded by Councilman Benton Dry, and passed by a unanimous vote, that the offer be declined, and that a RFP be sent out for new submittals with a deadline of Sept. 30.

Earlier in the meeting, Council was scheduled to continue three public hearings, first opened on May 15, on a development agreement, voluntary annexation and zoning of approximately 86 acres along City Lake Drive. The developer, however, withdrew the request on July 7.

“Let me announce up front that the request for this annexation has been withdrawn, so there will be no further proceedings on that,” Michael said.

In other business, Council:

● Passed a resolution proclaiming July as “Parks and Recreation Month” in Albemarle;

● Approved a road closure Aug. 11-13 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily along T.E. White Sr. Drive from Adelaide Street to Elizabeth Street.

● Received an update on street preservation and maintenance, to be performed by J.T. Russell and Sons beginning later in July.

The next meeting of Albemarle City Council will be at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7.