Knoxville City Council Saves $2 Million on New Garbage Contract

If you’re tired of Knoxville’s system of hauling four metal garbage cans to your curb week after week, the City Council has come to your rescue. The Council approved a new solid waste management contract at their latest meeting that’s going to save the city $2 million and save its homeowners three garbage cans’ worth of inconvenience.

The Knoxville City Council has approved a new solid waste management contract that could save the city nearly $2 million a year for the next seven years and take some of the pain out of garbage day for Knoxville homeowners.

The vote was unanimous apart from an abstention by Councilman Marshall Stair, whose law firm has represented Waste Connections of Tennessee, Inc.

Waste Connections was the winner out of four bidders for Knoxville’s solid waste needs, with a $2.9 million bid. That’s down from the $4.9 million current contract Waste Connections has held with the city for over a decade.

Why the drop in price?

According to Public Works Director Chad Weth, new garbage carts will be the star of the show.

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Public works director Chad Weth was present at Tuesday’s meeting to answer any questions the council might have about the waste contract.

At a meeting in September, the council voted to set aside the $2.9 million to purchase 60,000 new garbage receptacles. Knoxville residents will now be permitted one 95-gallon garbage carts to replace the four 32-gallon cans currently allowed.

Weth says this will save the city money in work time. A  semi-automated machine will dump waste out of the carts and into trucks, instead of individual workers hauling bags out of cans.

“It allows a more modern look, and that’s where the cost savings come from with the new haul-in contract.”

But the new contract will provide benefits for citizens as well.

“A lot of times people put garbage down in there, and it gets blown over, or an animal gets in it. These carts are standardized carts; they won’t allow that to happen,” Weth says.

Weth also mentioned the benefits of garbage not getting wet when it rains, and less litter from cans blowing over.

Finnbarr Saunders brought up concerns before the vote about the size of the cart and “perceived difficulty in moving it around.”

Weth assured the council that any person who has difficulty because of age or physical ability can apply for backdoor garbage service, which is free. Those interested can contact Knoxville’s 3-1-1 call center to apply or ask any questions about changes to solid waste services.  

The new contract is worth $3.8 million total and will take effect on January 1.

For an audio version of this web story, listen below:

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