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Quincy says goodbye to trash pact with Braintree, Weymouth

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  March 5, 2013 05:07 PM

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Quincy will leave behind a tri-town trash collection agreement with Braintree and Weymouth in favor of one more economical for the city, officials announced Tuesday.

According to a release, the new 10-year contract with Boston-based Sunrise Scavenger Inc. will save several million dollars compared with the current agreement, and will also provide five new hybrid-powered collection trucks.

Beginning on July 1, the contract has no cost increases for the first two years, at an annual rate of $3.54 million. From there, the cost of trash collection will increase two percent annually, capping at $4.1 million in the final year of the contract.

“Extending the existing contract would cost $1.4 million more in the first six years, with no guarantee on what increases would be for the following four years,” the administration said in a release.

The change means Quincy will leave behind its partners in Braintree and Weymouth, which entered into a tri-town agreement in 2008 to help save each community money.

Though Mayor Thomas Koch called the partnership a “major success,” he said the city would be negligent if it didn't seek more beneficial opportunities.

“It is a great credit to the leadership in those communities that we have made such great progress together in the last few years, and we are going to continue to pursue ways to collaborate that make sense for all three communities, ” Koch said in a release. “Ultimately, I have a responsibility to do everything possible to ensure the best deal possible for the taxpayers of Quincy, and this agreement with Sunrise accomplishes that and then some.”

Braintree and Weymouth are reportedly pursuing their own options as well, such as automated trash-collection trucks that wouldn’t be possible in Quincy’s more densely populated neighborhoods.

Weymouth officials were not immediately available for comment, but Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan understood the decision.

"He indicated at that time there were significant savings for his city and I …understand his mindset, we all want to do what’s best for our specific community. So I don’t fault him for his decision," Sullivan said. "I am disappointed that the agreement, the regional agreement we had in place, has now evaporated. And I indicated that to Mayor Koch. I consider Tom and [Weymouth Mayor Sue Kay] friends. We came into office together, we’ve held hands in terms of promoting regionalization, so it is a bit disappointing, but I do fully understand his thought process in this."

Sullivan said Braintree would reach out to Weymouth over the next couple of weeks to determine what to do in Quincy's absense, though Sullivan was optimistic.

"Our mindset is, over the next couple of days, renew our options and see if at least the two of us can stay together because I do think at the end of the day a combined effort brings value," Sullivan said.

According to the release, Quincy Department of Public Works Commissioner Daniel Raymondi explored several possibilities as the option-year on the current contract drew closer.

“The commissioner and his team worked through three proposals, including an extension proposal from the current contractor, Capitol Waste Inc., and determined that Sunrise was the most cost-efficient and beneficial package,” officials said in a release.

Raymondi said that the town went line-by-line in negotiating a new contract, and supports the decision to change.

“The Mayor’s directive was simple – get the best deal for the City, and I believe we have,” Raymondi said in a release.

Sunrise has contracts in the city of Boston, and the company boasts of a fleet of “environmentally friendly trucks”, which includes the hybrid vehicles specific to Quincy routes.

The company also cleans up overflow and spillage, as the four-foot space around the barrels is considered a part of the barrel itself.

The contract will also mean an increase in yard waste-collection dates, the implementation of a Quincy-specific customer service call center, a $20,000 increase in community outreach funding, and a $10,000 program for educational outreach to Quincy Public Schools.

There is also no fuel surcharge in the 10-year contract.

The news comes shortly after Quincy contracted a new disposal agreement with Covanta-SEMASS, one that will save an estimated $1 million in the first year, and over $10 million throughout the life of the contract.

“With the new collection contract, the City’s collection and disposal contracts are now aligned in the 10-year contract period, providing for future negotiating leverage,” the administration said.

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