Category Archives: Waste.Management

Omaha fines Waste Management another $78,000 for not picking up yard waste separately in July

Source: Emily Nohr, Omaha World-Herald, August 11, 2018

Mayor Jean Stothert is again penalizing the city’s garbage hauler — this time $78,000 — for service problems. That brings the total penalties against Waste Management to nearly $180,000 this year. Stothert rejected comments made by some Omaha City Council members that the administration should do more to hold Waste Management to its contract with the city. … Waste Management continues to struggle to pick up yard waste separately from trash at residences across Omaha, which the company is supposed to do from about April to Thanksgiving.

… The city pays nearly $500,000 a month for separate yard waste collection. Officials can fine Waste Management, however, if it receives more than 1,000 complaints about garbage and recycling and 700 about yard waste. Stothert fined Waste Management in May and June after the city got enough complaints from residents about service. Fines for both months totaled about $56,000. Additionally, her administration negotiated paying Waste Management $44,000 less in June and the latest $78,000 less in July for not picking up yard waste separately in parts of the city. Stothert said there’s no complaint-driven fine for last month because the city didn’t get enough complaints to warrant one. The city received just 69 complaints about yard waste last month, she said. …

Memphis cancels trash collection contract with Inland Waste

Source: David Royer and Andrew Ellison, WREG, July 19, 2018

After months of complaints over trash piles and missed pickups, Memphis is cutting ties with contractor Inland Waste. Mayor Jim Strickland announced Thursday that will end the city’s contract with Inland in 30 days, saying the company had underperformed. “We are in the process of contracting with a new provider to fill the remainder of the Inland contract, and we’ll be putting the long-term contract out for bid later this year,” Strickland said. While city garbage crews service most Memphis homes, Inland services about 30,000 addresses in the city, mostly in areas like Cordova and Hickory Hill. In April, some residents in those areas began complaining they hadn’t had garbage pickup in weeks. The company blamed a critical driver shortage, but the city began exploring options to replace the contractor. … Memphis had been contracted to pay Inland more than $4 million a year for service through 2019.

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Memphis City Council talks trash
Source: Justin Hanson, WMC-TV, March 20, 2013
(includes video)

Memphis City Council members were talking trash Tuesday. They discussed how to keep trash from piling up on city streets like it did during a recent strike. Within the next month, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and AFSCME leaders will get together and talk about trash collection here in the city, specifically trash collection in newly annexed areas. The trash collection issue came to a head when garbage piled up in recently annexed areas like Cordova and Hickory Hill. That pileup was because of a strike at privately contracted Republic Services Allied Waste, which picks up in those areas. City leaders asked AFCSME to come in and pick up, but they were not willing to cross the picket line. …. AFCSME leaders say they have been trying for five years to move all trash collection back in-house. “If we can do it all along, then let’s do it. Not just when it’s convenient,” added AFCSME Executive Director Chad Johnson.

Westchester cancels its garbage contract with Joseph Spiezio’s firm

Source: Jonathan Bandler, Rockland/Westchester Journal News, July 17, 2018

A company owned by Mount Vernon’s controversial deputy police commissioner, Joseph Spiezio, lost its contract to pick up garbage at Westchester County facilities because of a $4.2 million civil judgment for failing to pay employee benefits. The county Board of Acquisition & Contract last week approved an emergency six-month solid waste contract with City Carting for $720,000 to replace Spiezio’s R&S Waste Services. … But in late March, R&S was found liable for a $4.2 million judgment for violating the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. That decision was for a 2012 federal lawsuit by trust and pension funds of Local 813 of the Teamsters union. It accused Spiezio and the company of not making benefit contributions for employees after the company was formed and took over the financially troubled Rogan Brothers Sanitation in 2011. … The county has paid R & S just over $1.7 million since 2012, including about $400,000 since the start of 2017. County officials could not immediately explain why a contract for just six months would amount to more than $700,000.

… Criminal charges this year accusing the mayor of stealing campaign funds and failing to report tens of thousands of dollars in gifts detailed how Spiezio’s companies paid off Thomas’ personal credit card bills during the campaign. … R&S was sued last year for $780,000 by the New York State Insurance Fund, which claimed the company failed to pay premiums for workers compensation insurance. … Spiezio now runs his garbage business through another company, Waste Services Inc., which has municipal contracts for garbage collection in Rye Brook, Pelham and Carmel. The Rye Brook contract began last month in less than stellar fashion, with the village posting on its website that there had been many missed collections and the company had to work into the evenings to get accustomed to its new routes. …

Increased costs put East Deer recycling program in jeopardy

Source: Tom Yerace, Valley News Dispatch, July 13, 2018

East Deer officials say they are baffled by and concerned about the skyrocketing cost of recycling over the past several months. “When we started this program, our cost was supposed to be $150 to $160 per month,” Commissioners Chairman Tony Taliani said. But the most recent recycling bill the township received from its refuse contractor, Waste Management Inc., showed an increase of nearly 600 percent, to $869. … At Taliani’s request, the commissioners delayed approving the bill pending an investigation. … The program started in May 2017 and the bill for that month was more than $300 because of start-up costs, he said. After that first month, the monthly recycling bill, assessed for the previous month, never topped $200. Taliani said that changed dramatically in April when the township received a $339 bill. That was followed by a $344 bill in May, $348 in June. …

Hell on Wheels

Source: Kiera Feldman, ProPublica, June 4, 2018
 
Even in the bruising, often chaotic world of New York’s nighttime trash collection, Sanitation Salvage cuts a distinctively brutish profile. Its role in Diallo’s death — and, in April, the death of an elderly Bronx man run down while crossing the street with a cane — has set off a firestorm for the company as well as the city agency that oversees the commercial trash industry.  An investigation by Voice of America and ProPublica, drawing on thousands of pages of public documents and interviews with more than a dozen current and former workers, depicts a workplace environment in which concerns about safety, as well as workers’ rights and compensation, are flouted despite years of complaints from workers to regulators.  Records show that more than three-quarters of Sanitation Salvage trucks have been ordered off the road after federal safety checks. Yet the company has paid lobbyists to fight local legislation that backers say would compel haulers to improve on working conditions and safety. …

Ann Arbor council shuts down talks of privatizing trash pickup

Source: Ryan Stanton, MLive, May 24, 2018
 
Talks in city hall about possibly privatizing more of Ann Arbor’s solid waste services such as trash pickup have concerned the city’s unionized workforce and left the City Council divided. The council voted 7-4 this week to shut down those talks, directing the city’s administration to cease all actions that further any plan to privatize solid waste services now performed by city staff. The council also directed the city’s administration to end the practice of using temporary employees on a long-term basis to forestall the hiring of permanent full-time union employees. … The city already contracts with private entities such as Waste Management, Recycle Ann Arbor and WeCare Denali for some solid waste services, but the city also has in-house staff that performs certain collection functions. The council’s approved resolution proclaims opposition to privatization of solid waste services not already performed by an outside contractor, though it doesn’t preclude the creation of a regional public partnership to consolidate services, something the city has talked about. The council intends to make its position against privatization clear to the consultant now helping the city evaluate how to better deliver solid waste services, including trash, recycling and composting. …

Waste Management sues over ‘arbitrary’ bidding process in Carson, California

Source: Ellen Ryan, WasteDive, May 9, 2018

Claiming that its bid would have brought Carson 15 times more revenue than the eventual winner’s, Waste Management — a major player across the state — wants Los Angeles Superior Court to overturn the new contract and restart the bidding process. This is not the first time a waste collection company has turned to the legal system over a bidding loss. Late last year Republic Services sued Middletown, New Jersey, claiming the township violated state law in awarding a five-year hauling contract to Central Jersey Waste and Recycling. … Meanwhile, public complaints have grown as the City of Los Angeles revamped its waste hauling system in recent months, and citizens attempted a referendum to end it. Waste Management is one of the companies involved in the multi-zone, supposedly more efficient system that has broken down into complaints of lapsed service and higher fees. …

Stalled contract talks impact dozens of CSEA union workers

Source: News 12, May 14, 2018

Stalled contract talks are affecting dozens of union workers in Middletown. Middletown CSEA workers have been without a contract since 2014. City officials say the sticking points are money and a cost-saving plan to privatize its Sanitation Department. Union representatives say members won’t agree to “sell out” co-workers for a raise, but Mayor Joe DeStefano says the union already came to an agreement with the city months ago but hasn’t brought it for a vote. …

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Middletown, sanitation union clash over privatization
Source: James Nani, Times Herald-Record, June 25, 2017
 
Major changes to city sanitation services are unlikely to materialize this year after negotiations between city and union officials to privatize waste-hauling reached an impasse. The city and the CSEA union, that represents more than 100 city workers and about 14 city sanitation workers, had been negotiating a new contract since late 2014. … CSEA Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo has claimed that the costs of outsourced sanitation have “spiraled out of control in many communities after initial lowball bids” and that outsourcing means surrendering control on prices, scheduling and other factors that can affect price and inconvenience residents. Jessica Ladlee, a CSEA spokeswoman, said members do not want to trade negotiating people out of their union for salary increases.

Middletown explores outsourcing waste hauling
Source: James Nani, Record Online, May 2, 2017

Middletown officials are in negotiations with the union representing city sanitation workers as the city explores outsourcing waste hauling, a move that could eliminate the 14-member department. The talks with the union come as Middletown considers two options to reduce the cost of city sanitation services: either privatizing the services or downsizing and automating part of the department. … But under a push by Alderman Joe Masi, the city last released a request for proposals on the costs of private waste haulers to take over all waste services. As part of the request, any private hauler who wins a contract with the city would have to hire all city sanitation workers for one year. The move has met with resistance by the CSEA, which represents city sanitation workers. …

Wastewater company to pay state $1.6 million to settle spill

Source: Sarah Betancourt, Associated Press, April 10, 2018

A wastewater treatment firm agreed Tuesday to pay $1.6 million to settle a lawsuit with Massachusetts for a spill in which more than 10 million gallons of raw sewage flowed into state-owned woodlands in Plymouth and Plymouth Harbor. The settlement by Veolia Water North America Northeast is believed to be the largest ever paid for violations of the state’s Clean Waters Act, officials said. Attorney General Maura Healey said the company failed to properly maintain a piping system that carried wastewater from customers to the treatment facility in Plymouth, causing a spill from December 2015 to January 2016. Veolia also allegedly discharged hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater into Plymouth Harbor in three separate incidences in 2012. … Veolia continues to operate the Plymouth wastewater plant. Plymouth has a separate suit against Veolia North America that contends the company also is responsible for a 2015 sewage spill that officials claim impacted the town. The Attorney General’s office also has a separate lawsuit against Plymouth, filed in 2016.

Council approves second year of Rumpke contract as costs continue to rise

Source: Rick Rouan, The Columbus Dispatch, April 9, 2018

No savings have emerged more than a year after Columbus agreed to pay its vendor more to collect recycling and yard waste with the caveat that it would seek new ways to trim its costs. City Council on Monday voted 6-1 to approve the second year of an anticipated five-year agreement for curbside recycling and yard waste collection. The city will pay Cincinnati-based Rumpke about $8.7 million in 2018, up from about $8.5 million last year. … The city is paying significantly more for recycling and yard waste collections now than it did when it launched curbside pickups in 2012.Rumpke has been the city’s vendor since the curbside pickups began. The company held a five-year contract, and when that came up for renewal last year Rumpke was the only bidder for a new five-year deal. Rumpke’s bid was 50 percent higher than its first deal, though, citing a depressed market for recyclables and other factors that contributed to the increase. …