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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Update on waste disposal question
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 by Jo Clifton
Last week, after hearing from angry neighbors of the Austin Community Landfill, which is owned by Waste Management, Council unanimously rejected a proposed emergency contract with the company for the pickup, transport and disposal of materials from city facilities to that landfill and told Austin Resource Recovery to figure out another solution. The current contract, which is with Waste Management, expires on Saturday. Responding to a request for information from the Austin Monitor about how ARR is going to deal with the city waste stream, a city spokesperson sent the following statement: “The city is working to provide comprehensive cost-efficient waste disposal and recycling services to all city of Austin departments. The current contract for these services expires at the end of February and a solicitation for a replacement contract is being finalized and will be published soon.” Attorney Michael Whellan, who represents Texas Disposal Systems, said Tuesday that his client “is prepared to provide the same level of services currently provided and at the same rates … until the city puts the city facilities contract out for formal bid. And TDS knows others may be offering the very same thing … it doesn’t matter … the city has options to bridge this period between the formal termination of a contract that disposed of city waste at the Austin Community Landfill and the start of a new contract that has gone through an open bidding process.” Whellan said TDS would allow other haulers to bring city waste material to its landfill at the going rate even if TDS is not picking up the waste.
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