Two companies bid for refuse hauling contract in five towns

March 15, 1995|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

Hampstead, New Windsor, Taneytown, Union Bridge and Westminster may save money on landfill tipping fees by accepting an offer to take the trash to a private landfill in York County, Pa.

It could also be cheaper for Westminster city government to contract individually for trash collection, rather than remain in the five-town solid waste collection group.

Two refuse hauling companies bid yesterday for the contract to provide trash collection in the five towns for three years starting July 1. Three companies bid on collecting in Westminster alone, at lower unit prices than for the group.

Each town pays county government $45 a ton for use of the landfill in addition to collection costs. Waste Management of Maryland, which has the current group contract, offered an alternative: It would take the trash to Modern Landfill in York County, Pa., at a $25 per ton tipping fee, but a higher collection rate to cover the cost of hauling.

Waste Management Carroll County site manager Doug Baker refused to say how much higher yesterday. "It would change the look of the picture as far as the vehicles are concerned," he said.

Trash collection and tipping fees represent between 11 and 12 cents of Westminster's 83 cents per $100 of assessed value property tax rate. City Finance Director Stephen V. Dutterer predicted that the figure would increase under the next contract that starts in July, but could not say how much.

Robert Leatherwood, co-owner of Finksburg-based ROE Refuse, had an answer to why the costs for trash collection in Westminster came in lower than the group bids.

"If you have to go to Sykesville to get 1,000 units and then 1,000 somewhere else, economies of scale go out the window," Mr. Leatherwood said.

Sykesville and Manchester joined the bid, Sykesville for cost comparison purposes only. Manchester may join after its current contract expires Jan. 1, 1997.

Loss of the five towns' trash would have no apparent effect on county landfill operating costs. County Comptroller Eugene C. Curfman said solid waste would have to drop by approximately 25,000 tons a year to affect operating costs.

Westminster averages 3,948 tons a year. The other four towns contribute about 2,700 tons a year.

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