New Canaan since July 1 has been working without a contract with a Stamford-based garbage and recycling collection company that’s charging the town about 30% more than neighboring Wilton for a similar service, officials said last week.
The town had put its contract for pickup and disposal out to bid and City Carting was the only company that responded “and the prices went up from last time,” according to Department of Public Works Assistant Superintendent of Solid Waste Don Smith.
“They are charging us $85 [per ton] right now, Wilton is being charged $65,” Smith told members of the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting, held Nov. 19 at Town Hall. “The other towns have long-term [contracts] for different reasons so their prices may be better, or probably are better than ours. But it’s kind of out of our control.”
The comments came as the Board voted 3-0 to approve payment of invoices to City Carting for recycling costs totaling about $80,000 for the first quarter of this fiscal year.
Asked by Selectman Kit Devereaux why Wilton is paying so much less, Smith said, “That’s what I’m trying to find out. It doesn’t make sense, especially since we are even closer than Wilton is.”
Asked by Selectman Nick Williams how much hauling City Carting is doing for Wilton versus New Canaan, Smith said, “About the same—a little over 1,500 tons last year.”
Both towns are working without a contract, Smith said.
“We are still hopeful to negotiate to get a lower price,” he said.
The town budgeted $585,000 for its garbage hauling contract for the current fiscal year and $220,000 for recycling.
Asked by Devereaux whether City Carting has “a monopoly” on the work, Smith said, “I’m not going there. Nobody else bid on it. There are only three other companies in the area that will do it.”
He added, “If you want to call it that.”
“I am just here to ask for approval to pay the invoices that we have,” Smith said.
Asked by Williams who is leading New Canaan’s negotiations with City Carting, Smith said he is with others from the town.