Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Garbage Franchise

Council approves new garbage franchise

Published: March 17, 2010

By Helen Hollyer

During a Creswell City Council meeting notable both for its brevity (approximately 10 minutes including a public hearing) and lack of controversy, councilors unanimously approved Ordinance #464, which addresses collection and disposal of solid waste within the city limits.

Council member Jane Vincent was not present.

The vote followed a public hearing for the proposed ordinance, which is essentially unchanged from Ordinance 463, adopted Dec. 7, 2009, except that Waste Connections of Oregon Inc. replaces P&J Disposal as the franchisee and the franchise term has been extended five additional years.

P&J Disposal co-owners Mark and Andrea Johnson have entered into a sale agreement with Waste Connections of Oregon Inc., with the transaction expected to be finalized by the end of March and the new entity, which will operate as Sanipac, to begin providing collection services by April 1.

The only person to speak during the public hearing was Frank Beltran, who lives outside the Creswell city limits on Bear Creek Road. Beltran, a current P&J Disposal customer, asked if Waste Connections would provide waste collection services outside the city limits.

"Just as P&J is picking you up in the county, we will continue to pick you up, said Waste Connection representative Jason Craft, responding from the audience. Although the new ordinance governs waste collection within the city limits only, Waste Connections will continue providing services to customers residing in Lane County.

David Case, the sole council member to question the ordinance's provisions, asked about the term of the franchise agreement.

"The previous franchise with P&J approved in December went to 2012," responded city administrator Mark Shrives. "Waste Connections asked to have the franchise extended to [June 20,] 2017 because of the investment they are making."

The only other modifications to the previous ordinance involved formalizing in writing the donation of waste collection services for the annual citywide cleanup and a different procedure to deal with delinquent accounts.

During the March 8 regular city council meeting, Craft had told councilors that Waste Connections had been founded in Vancouver, Wash. about 10 years ago, and that its niche market was small communities.

Craft said that the company planned to provide wheeled roll carts for waste collection and recycling for its residential customers and that, although glass would continue to be collected separately, everything else would be co-mingled in the roll cart, just as Sanipac currently does in Eugene and Springfield.

"We will initially run the routes just as they are now," Craft said. "We will look at providing an optional composting service for yard debris within six months."

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