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Marengo opts for longtime trash collector at lower rate

MARENGO – In the end, a longtime Marengo company will keep its 45-year partnership with the city and residents will save money on trash collection.

The City Council on Monday approved, 7-0, a seven-year contract with Marengo-based MDC Environmental Services to provide trash, recycling and yard waste collection for the city.

The contract offers a cheaper overall rate than MDC’s current charge. The agreement comes a month after the council voted to reject all collection bids, including one from MDC, citing the need for more time to review the options.

“The process worked,” City Manager Gary Boden said. “We took a little more time in doing it, but it yielded a lot more information for staff and ultimately the council and community.”

In August, the council had the option to go with Veolia Environmental Services, which offered a $15.50 monthly service charge. But many residents, including MDC employees, attended the meeting and urged aldermen to stay with a company that has provided trash collection to Marengo for 45 years.

After the meeting, city staff met with MDC and negotiated a multiyear contract that offers savings over MDC’s current rates. The city partly did this because of the public’s overwhelming support for MDC.

Boden said city officials realized that MDC offered more appealing services, such as using more collection trucks than Veolia, once they dug into the details of both companies’ bids. MDC’s bid, he said, allows the city to get quality services at affordable rates.

The renegotiated agreement will cost residents $17 a month in 2013 for curbside service. The price increases 3 percent each year to cost residents $20.30 a month in 2019.

Although the fee scale is slightly pricier than Veolia’s bid, residents will see savings from MDC’s current monthly fee of $21.96 a month. MDC also cut its charges on trash stickers, but slightly increased its price for yard waste stickers.

“In reality, we thought we got a decent apples-to-apples comparison when we negotiated this contract,” Boden said. “The preference was to go with a known commodity.”

MDC’s new rates go into effect Oct. 1.

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