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Council rejects Waste Management contract

Friday, February 21, 2020 by Jo Clifton

After hearing impassioned pleas from residents of Northeast Austin and arguments from several Council members against granting Waste Management an emergency contract to transport and dispose of refuse, recycling materials, brush and compostable materials generated by city facilities, Council voted 10-0 to reject the proposed contract. Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza was off the dais. Council members Natasha Harper-Madison and Leslie Pool were particularly forceful in their arguments against using Waste Management. As Pool explained, Council members have told staff they do not want to do business with any company using Waste Management’s landfill in Northeast Austin. Several neighbors and environmentalists spoke against giving the $1 million contract to Waste Management, and no one showed up to defend the company. Two commissions voted against the contract, and one commission voted in favor. When staffers had difficulty explaining exactly what they would do without Waste Management when the current contract expires on Feb. 28, Mayor Steve Adler was concerned enough that he said Council might have to have an emergency meeting on that date.

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