Garland County Panel Backs $149,200 Contract for Trash Can Count, Tracking

An appropriation ordinance that advanced Monday night would help the county get an accurate count of residential trash cans before it puts a new sanitation contract out for bid next year, justices of the peace said.

The Garland County Quorum Court Finance Committee gave a do-pass recommendation to a $149,200 appropriation from the solid waste fund to contract Rehrig Pacific Co. for the audit. Darryl Mahoney, chairman of the county’s Public Works and Building/Environmental Services Committee, said the company will assign each can a bar code specific to an address.

Mahoney said the county is paying for about 24,000 cans but only billing for 22,000. The county budgeted $3.1 million in contract collection fees for 2018 and projected $4.2 million in collection proceeds. The audit would raise the solid waste fund’s appropriation percentage to 77.91 percent of its $13.1 million in projected 2018 revenue, the county finance department said.

In addition to residential collection fees, the fund is projected to receive $1.6 million from the county’s half-cent sales tax and $3 million in landfill fees.

“At the end of the year, we should have 95 to 99 percent accuracy on how many cans we have out,” Mahoney told the committee. “So next year, when we write our contracts, we’ll know exactly how many we’ve got. It will save way more than what it’s costing us.

“House-to-house people are saying we have 24,000 cans. We’re only billing for 22,000, and we’ve got an 80-percent collection rate. So that figure’s really only getting paid for 18,000 cans.”

Mahoney said county staff, which spends most of its time delivering, picking up and repairing cans, doesn’t have time for the audit.

“Going into our new contract, I feel like hiring an independent firm to provide this audit for us is a lot better than having the county try to do it,” he told the committee. “We’ve got three people right now, and we can’t keep up with it.”

Mahoney said that after the audit is concluded, the county can pay a monthly fee of about $1,200 for software staff can use to match cans to addresses and plot optimum routes when picking up cans for repairs.

The five-year contract the county entered into with residential haulers in January 2015 expires at the end of next year.

Originally published on Arkansas Online

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