CUMBERLAND — Bids for a new three-year garbage collection contract with the city of Cumberland are under review with the future of 20 city sanitation workers with Teamsters Local 453 hanging in the balance.
The current contract for waste collection, which expires June 30, is held by Advanced Disposal, which employs the Teamsters workers.
The deadline for filing for the new municipal waste collection contract was March 5. Three companies have bid on the contract: Advanced Disposal, based in McClellandtown, Pa., R&R Waste Solutions of Drippings Springs, Texas, and Burgmeier’s Hauling Inc. of Altoona, Pa.
“Whoever gets the contract, I hope that they will bring on as many of the current (Teamsters) workers as possible,” said Mayor Brian Grim.
Although unofficial at this time, Grim indicated the city may be making a change with the new contract.
“The low bid is Burg-meier’s. It appears they will get the contract,” said Grim.
Grim said he spoke with Burgmeier’s representatives and hopes they will keep the current Teamsters workers in mind.
“The new company will have to expand its employees to cover the contract. I hope they take them on board,” said Grim.
Larry Wolfe, president of Local 453, made a public appeal for the workers during a meeting of the mayor and city council held Tuesday.
“We have about 20 workers and 13 live and reside in the community and pay taxes. I’m here to ask for your consideration,” said Wolfe.
Wolfe has maintained a working relationship with Advanced Disposal. He feels the future security of his workers would be better served by the contract remaining in Advanced Disposal’s hands. Wolfe pointed out the strong points of staying with the company.
“In May of 2014, they (Advanced Disposal) will open a transfer station. It will add around 10 jobs and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Wolfe.
Advanced Disposal is planning to operate a processing facility and transfer station behind the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cresaptown. The station would process residential, commercial and construction waste as well as offering recycling capabilities.
“Our operation has been permitted. It will be on Hazmat Road behind the prison,” said Jim Gebicki, affairs manager with Advanced Disposal.
Gebicki said a large benefit to the municipal waste collection will be reduced trips to the landfill. Advanced Disposal plans to use 80-ton, large-capacity trailers to transport the material.
“Instead of 10 trips with 8-ton trucks, it’s disposed of in one trip,” said Gebicki.
Grim said he also hopes to introduce a new curbside recycling program in Cumberland.
“We are still working on a recycling program. We are excited about our prospects,” said Grim.
Grim said that news on a recycling program may be forthcoming.
“It’s a commitment I’ve made to the citizens and I want to see it happen,” said Grim.
Greg Larry can be contacted at email@example.com.