In a 4-1 vote at its meeting yesterday, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners took the first step in awarding a 10-year exclusive contract for trash and recyclables pickup to Florida-based Waste Pro. The vote came after discussion of recent submission of bids and proposals from the current contract holder, GDS, and two other companies.
GDS, which was awarded its contract in 1999, bid the highest of the three, with a price of $17.03 per household per month. Waste Pro was the lowest, with a bid of $14.20. The current service rate is $14.70, a rate GDS officials say is too low considering raises in the landfill tipping fee and the amount of bags per week a household is allowed to put on the curb.
GDS says losing the contract will put 35 employees in Buncombe County out of work. Waste Pro executives assured the commissioners that the company would give first-hire priorities to former GDS employees, but there is no formal language stipulating that in the contract.
The commissioners must take a second vote on Oct. 6 to make the contract official. The contract only applies to unincorporated sections of Buncombe County.
At the meeting, the board also also:
• Voted unanimously for a new draft 911 agreement with the city of Asheville that removes a $2.5 million payout if the county dissolves the partnership.
• Voted unanimously for a resolution supporting the national adoption of the Honor and Remember flag in honor of America’s war dead.
For extensive coverage of the meeting, see the Sept. 23 edition of Xpress.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer