Residents will continue to have twice weekly garbage pickup, with little or no increase in the cost, Councilman Myles Sharp said during a meeting Tuesday.
Under a contract the city expects to sign, recycling collection will be reduced from weekly to once every other week.
Sharp said only 11 percent of residents recycle and it doesn’t make sense for the contractor, Waste Pro, to use so much fuel looking for those households. He said residents will be able to have up to two recycling bins with no additional charge.
Residents have been clear, he said, that they want twice weekly garbage collection to continue. Under the contract, rubbish will be collected once a week, with rear-load collection on the garbage truck expected to reduce the need for a second truck.
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In signing a contract with Waste Pro, Gulfport is breaking away from Harrison County and its other four cities, which contract for garbage collection through the Harrison County Utility Authority.
HCUA recently negotiated a garbage-collection contract with Team Waste for pickup once a week of garbage, recyclables and rubbish. The contract price represents an increase of $2.50 per household, or a total cost per household of $14.36 a month.
Council members have been besieged with questions since residents learned Gulfport was negotiating its own garbage-collection contract. Sharp said he wanted to announce what details he could now, but other information will have to wait until a final contract is signed.
He said all major points in the contract have been worked out, but the administration and Waste Pro are still finalizing some details.
Team Waste had a representative in the room at the council meeting — Gulfport attorney Joe Sam Owen.
The Waste Pro contract was originally on the agenda, but the council voted to delete it because the negotiations had not been completed.
Owen arrived with a folder and notebook full of documents and left after the contract was pulled from the agenda.
“There’s going to be issues about that,” Owen said, referring to the Waste Pro contract. “That’s all I can say right now.”