KNOXVILLE, TN (Sept. 30, 2020) – In the first September meeting, City Council members unanimously agreed to authorize Mayor Indya Kincannon to execute a 10-year contract with Waste Connections of Tennessee Inc. (WCI) for disposal of solid waste that will save city taxpayers an estimated $523,557 a year – or $5.2 million over a decade.
Waste Connections of Tennessee Inc. is the current collector of curbside garbage and recyclables citywide.
Two qualified, compliant companies submitted proposals. Both operate modern, lined landfills, fully compliant with state rules and regulations, and exceed state sustainability requirements by managing their landfill gases for beneficial reuse. One creates electricity and the other contributes to the natural gas pipeline, according to Public Service Director Chad Weth.
Knox County has partnered with the City of Knoxville in a joint effort to take advantage of combined savings in a new landfill disposal contract.
Knox County Mayor Glen Jacobs expects to save county taxpayers over $1 million over the 10-year contract.
The county will pay $19.93 per ton to dispose of material – a $3.60 decrease from the current price. The new contract is expected to take effect on October 1, 2020.
“This is another example of the County and City solid waste and procurement offices working together to generate a lower price for all residents on a service we both need,” Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said. “This is also a great example of the public and private sector working together on a common goal.”
County residents generate 33,000 tons of household trash annually that’s taken to the county’s seven Convenience Centers. The city collects about 60,000 tons of trash per year. That waste is ultimately disposed into a Class I sanitary landfill under these services.
With the annual amount of trash upwards of 100,000 tons, companies were willing to propose more competitive pricing than when the contracts were awarded separately.
We anticipate increased efficiency by consolidating services with one vendor.
Last year, City residents and businesses generated 57,724 tons of solid waste that went to a landfill in Anderson County. The expiring contract pays the landfill operator $22.32 a ton; that operator proposed a new contract at $29 a ton. WCI proposed a rate of $19.93 a ton.
Currently, WCI garbage trucks drive approximately 30 miles roundtrip to another owner’s Anderson County landfill. Under the new contract, WCI will haul to a centralized transfer station in Knoxville and then drive larger trucks to its Meadow Branch landfill in Athens, Tenn.
Additionally, WCI will eventually be hauling refuse from the City’s Solid Waste Facility, 1033 Elm St., at no cost. This is currently handled by City staff driving a large truck to Anderson County five or six times a day. Consolidating this operation through WCI will increase overall efficiency and further save City expenses.