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Chatham County will continue its waste management operations

Posted Sunday, February 13, 2005

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Chatham County will continue its waste management operations, following the recommendation of the county's Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC).

John McSween, SWAC chairman, presented the review of proposals for operation of the county's solid waste program to county commissioners, which gave its approval of the recommendation at a meeting earlier this week.

Two vendors submitted proposals for current operations - the county staff and Waste Industries, according to the SWAC report.

The review process consisted of the same criteria as the Solid Waste Feasibility Study (Environmental, Social/Cultural, Land Use and Financial). With 1 a negative and 10 a positive, the county ranked at 7.89 and Waste Industries at 5.68.

The conclusions for current operations, according to the SWAC report, were:

* The county has state-acclaimed program

* Cost benefit of switching to privatization is minimal (only $1.55 per household reduction in availability fee per year)

* Loss of public ownership

* Loss of control and flexibility

* Limited control over future price increases of private contractor

* Loss of equipment sharing between county departments

* Once out, its costly for county to get back into waste business

The report included lessons learned from the process:

* Current county waste management program is competitive

* Heightened or increased employee ownership of solid waste program

* Resulted in ideas for potential improvement

* Countywide participation needs to be addressed

* There is value to being an enterprise operation

 
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