Isle of Wight proposes changing garbage pickup contractor

Published 4:17 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Isle of Wight County is proposing to change its provider of garbage collection services.

According to a public notice published in The Smithfield Times’ April 5 edition, the county plans to offer an exclusive franchise agreement to Waste Industries LLC, doing business as GFL Environmental.

County supervisors have scheduled a public hearing for April 20. If approved, the contract would take effect July 1.

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The hearing will be during the supervisors’ regular meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of the county’s Monument Circle government complex.

The county currently contracts with Bay Disposal for curbside trash collection. According to Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson, Isle of Wight’s previous franchise agreement with Bay had expired and was temporarily extended.

The purpose of the franchise agreement, according to the county’s website, is to provide county residents living outside the towns of Smithfield and Windsor with a “competitive rate” for procuring curbside trash pickup in lieu of having to take waste to one of the county’s eight refuse and recycling centers.

The draft franchise agreement specifies that the selected contractor is to pay the county a monthly franchise fee. Bay, according to Robertson, has been paying the county $1 per customer per month for exclusivity. GFL, he said, would likely pay a similar amount, though the exact dollar amount in the draft contract is presently blank. The residents would then pay the contractor for pickup services.

“Exhibit B” in the county’s 2013 contract with Bay specified a flat rate of $13.61 per month for one 96-gallon rolling trash bin, plus $5.50 per month for each additional bin. The draft contract with GFL presently ends at “Exhibit A,” and does not yet specify what rate GFL would charge county residents.

County residents should see no change at Isle of Wight’s eight municipal refuse and recycling centers as a result of the new contract if it’s approved, Robertson said.

While GFL, according to its website, does offer curbside recycling pickup – to include plastics, paper and the wax-coated types of cardboard Isle of Wight no longer accepts – the franchise agreement with the county would pertain only to curbside trash collection.

Last fall, Isle of Wight ended its single-stream recycling program, where paper, glass and plastics were commingled in a single container, and instead began accepting only cardboard and steel or aluminum cans as recyclables. The county then takes the collected cardboard to Butler Paper Recycling in Suffolk and the cans to Carrollton Metal.