‘They Know They Made a Mistake’: Town Goes with City Carting for New Disposal Contract

After the town turned away from its longtime recyclables hauler due to difficulty with the Stamford-based company, municipal officials last week approved a new contract with the same company for disposal of brush and construction debris. At $137,400 per year, City Carting came back with the lowest bid for the work because they “want back in,” according to New Canaan Department of Public Works Assistant Superintendent of Solid Waste Don Smith. “They know they made a mistake,” Smith told members of the Board of Selectmen at their June 23 meeting, held via videoconference. 

“It’s the management that is the problem but actually the people that I deal with it’s not their fault it’s the ones above them that have caused major issues so they are trying to get back into the good side of things” Smith said. He added, “The lower guys are trying to make up for what the people up top have done, basically, just by ignoring us.”

He referred to an issue that surfaced last year, where town officials said New Canaan was paying $85 per ton on recyclables while Wilton was paying $65 per ton for similar services. Smith said in January that he’d been unable to reach City Carting to get an explanation for the discrepancy, and in April the town turned to a Danbury-based hauler.

Town Opts Not To Offer Senior Discount on Dump Sticker Fee

Town officials said last week that they won’t offer seniors a discount on annual sticker fees at the dump, as one resident had suggested. Among peer towns, only Darien offers such a discount, but the sticker fee there is $120 whereas New Canaan’s is going up from $45 to $75, officials said during the April 21 meeting of the Board of Selectmen. Wilton, Westport, Weston and Ridgefield offer no such discount, according to Don Smith, the Department of Public Works’ assistant superintendent of solid waste at the Transfer Station. A senior discount therefore “is not prevalent,” First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said at the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“Keep in mind, many seniors are in congregate areas where they have contractural services with their rents, such as all the apartment buildings and all the condos and co-ops,” Moynihan said. “So there will be some seniors, obviously—but anyway, we are not going to bring forth a recommendation on a senior discount.

After Difficulty with Trash-Collecting Company, Town Turns to New Hauler 

Municipal officials on Tuesday approved a contract with a new hauler of recyclables following months of difficulty with a company that had been charging New Canaan more than neighboring towns. 

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the contract with Danbury-based Oak Ridge Waste and Recycling. The two-year contract calls for Oak Ridge to haul recyclables at a rate of $83.74 per ton, compared to the $85 per ton that New Canaan currently is paying Stamford’s City Carting, and the $95 per ton that City Carting offered in responding to the town’s bid for the job. “We are doing slightly better going forward than what we were paying City for this year,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting, held via videoconference. 

The estimated $215,000 annual contract also calls for a per-pull cost of $189 for recyclables. 

Officials said in November that New Canaan was paying $85 per ton while Wilton was paying $65 per ton for similar services. New Canaan Department of Public Works Assistant Superintendent of Solid Waste Don Smith said in January that he’d been unable to reach City Carting to get an explanation for the discrepancy. 

Asked about City Carting’s failure to return calls during this week’s meeting by Selectman Kit Devereaux, Smith said that the “new general manager apologized for all that.”

“But I already told him the damage is done,” Smith said. “And then they tried to negotiate after-the-fact when we put it out to bid again and I said no.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Devereaux and Selectman Nick Williams voted in favor of the new contract with Oak Ridge. 

William asked what drives the pricing for the work.

Officials: Trash-Collecting Company Non-Responsive To Inquiries Regarding High Rates

Town officials said Tuesday that they’ve been unable to reach a Stamford-based garbage and recycling collection company for a reason why New Canaan is paying about 30% more than neighboring Wilton for a similar service, and will seek a new contractor. 

The town pays City Carting about $85 per ton for recycling services, compared to Wilton’s rate of $65 per ton, according to Department of Public Works Assistant Superintendent of Solid Waste Don Smith. 

“I can’t get ahold of nobody,” Smith told the Board of Selectmen when asked whether City Carting had justified the $20 difference. “I have sent emails, phone calls and text messages and nobody has gotten back to me since our last time we had this [discussion] in November.”

The comments can as the Board approved payment of about $64,000 to City Carting for invoices racked up the past three months. The town since July 1 has been using the company without a contract. 

Smith told the selectmen during their regular meeting at Town Hall that a request for proposals will go out next week. “I’m sending it to all three major companies in the area and hopefully someone else will just respond and go after it,” Smith said. The two other companies are located in Shelton and Bridgeport, he said.