WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday will consider rejecting bids from companies seeking to take over the city’s curbside recycling pickup and instead accept a recommendation to have the city do the job.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in council chambers at The Center downtown. It will be preceded by an executive session at 6:30 p.m. to discuss labor negotiations and the potential sale of city property.

The city’s contract with Sullivan’s Waste Disposal, of Thorndike, which has collected recyclables curbside for the last three years and taken them to ecomaine in Portland, ends June 30 and the company no longer wants to do the job.

The city put out a request for companies to bid on taking over the job, but received only two bids for over $200,000 each, according to City Manager Michael Roy. Sullivan’s had done the job for $72,000 a year.

The city’s solid waste recycling committee recommends the city itself pick up recyclables curbside, Roy said.

“The city is going to have to use its spare packer truck, picking up recyclables, bring them to Norridgewock, and from Norridgewock, the recyclables go to ecomaine,” Roy said Thursday. “Waste Management would take them to ecomaine.”


The city will continue to pick up solid waste curbside and bring it to the Oakland transfer station, where Oakland takes it to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington.

Meanwhile, city officials will recommend to the City Council that the city buy a $200,000 split truck capable of taking solid waste on one side and recyclables on the other and employ one crew to pick up trash and recyclables every day on designated routes. Residents will be able to put their trash and their recyclables out every week, according to Roy.

“We can buy that truck any time, but the council has to approve it in the budget for next year,” Roy said. “It takes months for this truck to be built and delivered. We can get the split truck hopefully, maybe, in the fall.”

The city’s contract with PERC ends at the end of March next year, so starting April 1, the city will take its trash to Waste Management in Norridgewock, according to Roy.

He said city officials are concerned about using the old spare garbage truck to go to Norridgewock with recyclables every day because the truck is not in great shape. Also, the city would have to hire another person because the city will be doing its own pickup, he said.

But having the city pick up recycling will save money, Roy said.


“I don’t think there’s any question about that,” he said. “We do have the cost of the truck for $200,000, but it’s also good for recyclables and trash and can do both.”

In other matters Tuesday, councilors will consider approving a recommendation to increase fees for the sale of plots at the city-owned Pine Grove Cemetery and increase burial fees as well.

Roy said the recommended increase is based on the fact that other cemetery fees are higher than Waterville’s.

The current fees vary according to criteria, including section of the cemetery requested, amount of space wanted and whether there is full interment or cremation. The fees have not been increased since 2013, according to Roy.

This is the city’s third year managing the cemetery, which is on Grove Street next to Saint Francis Catholic Cemetery. The city’s Cemetery Board of Trustees operated the Pine Grove Cemetery for about 50 years but stopped.

“It got to the point where it was too much for the trustee volunteers who weren’t paid anything, and when the contract expired with a private person doing the care, it really became, I think, more cost efficient for the city to take it over than to contract it out,” Roy said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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