SHELBY COUNTY, Alabama – Waste Pro of Alabama will be handling garbage collection offered by Shelby County and the City of Montevallo under contracts approved this month that will reduce residential fees in many cases and provide curbside recycling.

Shelby County and Montevallo leaders sought bids for their trash collection services and in both cases Waste Pro came in as the lowest bidder on residential service with curbside recycling provided. The County Commission and Montevallo City Council approved their separate contracts with Waste Pro on June 10.

Both entities have been using Waste Management for garbage collection, and the new contracts with Waste Pro become effective Oct. 1.

Representatives from both governments expressed enthusiasm about cost savings associated with the new garbage service contracts.

In a May 29 memo to commissioners, Shelby County Environmental Services Manager Chad Scroggins noted that residential users are paying $11.96 per month under the current contract, while the new rate under Waste Pro will be $11.65.

“The result of the bid is a decrease in collection costs for all categories of weekly garbage collection services and the inclusion of bi-weekly curbside recycling to all categories at no additional fee, ” Scroggins stated.

Scroggins said the savings for unincorporated Shelby County and municipalities participating in the contract is $262, 373 annually. “The majority of residents utilizing Residential I service will experience a savings of $3.72 annually while gaining recycling service that is valued at $5.26 per month or $63.12 annually per customer, ” he said.

Residential Level 1 customers get a 90-gallon garbage cart and two 33-gallon cans serviced once a week and a 90-gallon recycling cart picked up every two weeks.

Scroggins wanted to see if there could be a cost decrease with the new bid contract that included curbside recycling as a base component of the service. He calculated the annual value of increased recycling services in the county at $85, 848 based on 16, 321 additional recycling customers over the previous 2, 110.

Other benefits include “promotion of the website on each collection cart, accounting of customer contracts at a higher frequency, customer information and routing for improved local response to customer inquires” and better reporting of recyclable materials to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, according to his memo.

The county last bid the garbage collection contract in June 2004, when the effort resulted in a nearly 17 percent decrease in monthly trash fees to $10.05 per month from $12.05 as of October 2004, Scroggins stated.

Montevallo leaders are excited about the same benefits coming to their city with the new Waste Pro service contract. The city sought bids in an effort to explore cost savings that would include curbside recycling as part of the service.

“For essentially the same price as we are paying now for garbage service, we will be able to add curbside recycling to our mix of services, ” Montevallo City Clerk Herman Lehman said.

“Our hope is that this will encourage those residents who are currently unwilling or unable to take advantage of our centralized recycling drop-off center to participate in our city-wide recycling efforts. Promoting environmental responsibility and sustainability are important goals to Montevallo and its leaders. Adding curbside service will help us to more readily achieve those goals, ” Lehman said.

Waste Management charges an average of $12 per household for garbage service, while Waste Pro’s pickup including recycling will be $11.98, Lehman said.

“So the costs are essentially the same, but the services are greatly enhanced, ” he said.

At the Montevallo City Council meeting on June 10, Waste Pro of Alabama Division Manager George Nicholson said the company will hold a job fair to hire new drivers for the routes. “I’ve got to hire 10 truck drivers, ” he said, noting the jobs would pay about $45, 000 a year.

Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost said Waste Pro’s service will resume the city’s glass recycling that had stopped recently after Calera-based cement company Argos discontinued the collection service.

Cost abstained from voting on the Waste Pro contract because Nicholson is her brother’s father-in-law. “Glad to have you aboard, ” she told Nicholson after the council’s vote to approve the contract. “Glad to have you in the family in many ways.”