New Waste Pro contract on May 21 Commission agenda

Buncombe County seal

Although the business behind trash and recycling collection in unincorporated Buncombe County — Waste Pro of Longwood, Fla. — will likely stay the same after the county’s vote on a new contract, customers may see shifts in how the company goes about its work. The Board of Commissioners will decide whether to approve the agreement, which would come into effect in January, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 21, at 5 p.m. in Room 326 at 200 College St. in downtown Asheville.

Under the new contract, according to a presentation by county Solid Waste Director Dane Pedersen available before the meeting, all customers would receive trash and recycling containers from Waste Pro as part of a $19.21 monthly service fee. Currently, customers pay a $16.08 base fee and can rent containers for an optional $3.80 per month.

At an April 16 Commission pre-meeting, Pedersen explained that the change to standard containers would allow Waste Pro to automate more of its collection, thereby improving the speed and efficiency of its service. He said the company also planned to invest in 13 new trucks with automated side-loaders for the carts, including six powered by compressed natural gas.

Recycling would move from weekly collection through a “blue bag” system to fortnightly collection in carts. Waste Pro would also be required to reject recyclables mixed with trash and leave a sticker or hanger explaining why the collection wasn’t made.

Finally, the new contract includes a formal schedule of liquidated damages for contractor errors such as missed collections, leaking trucks and late recyclable materials reports. The previous contract did not specify any automatic damages for poor performance.

In other business

Commissioners will hear four reports during the meeting, including an update on the county’s strategic priority to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic. As noted in a presentation available before the meeting, overdose deaths increased from 38 to 92 between 2015 and 2017, while injection-related streptococcal infections more than tripled from 3 to 11 between 2017 and 2018.

In April, county staff members announced plans to open a syringe access service at the 40 Coxe Ave. Department of Health and Human Services facility. The presentation also includes a Sheriff’s Department proposal to offer North Carolina’s first in-jail medication-assisted treatment program at the Buncombe County Detention Facility.

The Asheville Regional Airport will offer an update on its substantial growth over the past year. Passenger numbers increased by 18.6% from 2017 to 2018, and Spirit Airlines became the location’s sixth airline when it added three regular flights to Florida in September.

Although the agenda for the meeting lists a presentation of the fiscal year 2020 budget message, no document was linked to that item as of press time. The only document currently available on the county’s Budget Department website for the next fiscal year is a strategic partnership grants timeline.

Consent agenda

The board’s consent agenda for the meeting contains five items, which will be approved as a package unless singled out for separate discussion. Highlights include resolutions to:

  • Approve six amendments to the fiscal year 2019 budget. The county will receive $225,000 in state lottery funding for roof replacements at W.D. Williams Elementary School in Swannanoa, as well as note the receipt of over $181,000 in cash seized by staff of the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Award a service firearm to four retiring sheriff’s deputies. David Flanagan, Jeff Banks, Lance Stewart and Robert Stone will all receive the Glock Model 17 pistols they carried at retirement in thanks for their service.

The board will also hold a special budget work session at 2 p.m. in the first floor conference room in the same building to consider funding requests from the county’s fire districts and strategic partnership grant organizations. The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.

SHARE

Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Daniel Walton
Daniel Walton is the Assistant Editor of Mountain Xpress, regularly contributing to coverage of Western North Carolina's government, environment and health care. His work has previously appeared in Capital at Play, Edible Asheville, and the Citizen-Times, among other area publications. Follow me @DanielWWalton

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “New Waste Pro contract on May 21 Commission agenda

  1. OzarksRazor

    Maybe we should take a look at Gatlinburg’s handling of waste, recycling and their compost program. They actually have a progressive, waste ‘free’ system that gives back to and supports their community.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.