The Wellington Village Council approved a new contract Tuesday, May 11 for solid waste and recyclable materials collection service in the community, along with a small non-ad valorem assessment increase in fees, while exacting promises of a seamless transition from the new Orlando-based vendor, FCC Environmental Services Florida.
Assistant Village Manager Ed De La Vega explained that Wellington initially had a five-year contract with current vendor Waste Management Inc. (WMI) for a flat fee per year. After the initial period, the contract could be renewed annually, but the price could increase. The contract has passed its initial period, and the village was looking at a substantial price increase.
De La Vega said that Wellington put the contract out to bid and received four responses with excellent references, experience and other rating scores. De La Vega said that seven years ago, when the village went with WMI, they had considered FCC for the contract, but while a venerable worldwide company had U.S. operations, it did not then have a sufficient local track record. Today, the firm services 110,000 homes in unincorporated Palm Beach County.
The village can terminate the new contract should it be dissatisfied with the service, which will begin with the new calendar year.
“We lock in a good price for 10 years, but if we decide we don’t like this company, we can get out of it,” Councilman Michael Drahos said.
The proposal includes new cleaner-burning diesel trucks, and no trucks will ever be more than 10 years old. Additionally, for residential customers, there will be no switching out their existing trash containers.
There will be no change in requirements of service or the twice a week pickup schedule. Up to five percent of customers could experience a change in the day or time of their service.
The new company will cost residents $2.50 a month more, but representatives promise an increase in the level of service.
Vice Mayor John McGovern had De La Vega reiterate the specifics of the contract that shows Wellington is among the lowest costs for the service. He told the new vendor that Wellington has high standards and expects near perfection.
“Your experience with the county bodes well,” he said. “This is a vote that we take very, very seriously. This is the everyday kind of service that we need to do correctly.”
Also at the meeting was the approval of setting the preliminary fiscal year 2022 TRIM rates for non-ad valorem assessments for solid waste collection and recycling, proposed at $190/unit for curbside service and $141/unit for containerized service.
The contract and assessment measures both passed unanimously.