WATERLOO — Seneca County has offered curbside pickup of recyclable materials for more than 15 years, the last three through a contract with Cardinal Disposal of Dundee.
The county could exercise an option to extend the contract for a fourth year, but the Public Works Committee of the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to recommend that Requests For Proposals for a new contract be issued.
The current contract expires Dec. 31. That recommendation now goes to the full board for a final vote Aug. 14.
“We could exercise a fourth year option with Cardinal,’’ said Public Works Director Samuel Priem. “But the problem is that the recycling coordinator has to do a lot of work to make the company comply. It’s been problematic,” Priem told the committee.
Recycling Coordinator Lis Keshel said that, in 2017, she received 391 missed stop complaints about Cardinal trucks for pickups. “Some were individual homes. Others were entire roads. Their contract gives them 24 hours to go back and make those pickups, but they usually have not done that,” Keshel said.
“They don’t let me know if they are having a breakdown of equipment or if drivers don’t show up. So when people call me to say their recyclables aren’t picked up, I don’t know what to tell them,” she said.
“Saturdays is when they are supposed to catch up on stops they’ve missed, but they seldom do that. I know it’s hard to keep drivers and I think they underbid the original contract,” Keshel said.
County Attorney Frank Fisher said if Cardinal submits a new bid and that is the lowest, the county does not have to accept it.
Keshel said if the fourth year is to be exercised, she must inform Cardinal by October. She said Cardinal’s original bid was roughly $400,000. The other two bids were around $500,000 and $725,000.
Homeowners pay an annual fee of around $30 for the curbside pickup service.