Few things have angered town residents more in recent months than problems with their trash and recycling pickups. But Christmas may indeed come in July this year, as the council prepares to award a new contract for its trash and recycling services.
Monday night, the council received a briefing on the results of the Requests for Proposal sent out by town staff for awarding a new contract. This contract award was done a bit differently given the recent challenges, Renee LaFollete, director of the town’s Public Works and Capital Projects Department, noted. While it is usually done based on lowest bid, this time staff also interviewed the four responsive bidders on their methodology of service delivery, commitment to customer service, experience, and also asked for customer references. At the end of that process, Manassas-based Patriot Disposal, Inc., was ranked the highest and, pending the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting, looks to be the town’s trash and recycling contractor for the next several years.
The biggest change for Leesburg residents will be that trash and recycling pickups will now move to once per week, rather than the current practice of twice. Moving to once a week collection reduces the cost of the contract by $300,000, netting a total savings of $2.1 million over the life of the contract, Deputy Town Manager Keith Markel said. The contract will be for an initial period of two years and renewable for up to five additional consecutive periods of one year each.
Almost $250,000 has been budgeted in the contract for the purchase of new trashcans for all single-family attached and detached homes in town. Each single-family and townhouse household will receive two lidded trashcans: two 96-gallon trashcans for single-family homes and two 64-gallon trashcans for townhouses. The container intended for recycling will be blue. These trashcans will be owned by the town but maintained by the contractor. Residents may use any current trashcans they have for yard waste, which will move to Mondays town-wide, or other purposes. Yard waste may also be placed in paper bags.
The new collection schedule will pick up trash and recycling for the Northwest Quadrant on Mondays; the Northeast Quadrant inside the bypass on Tuesdays and outside the bypass on Wednesdays; the Southwest Quadrant plus Meadowbrook on Thursdays; and the Southeast Quadrant on Fridays. Should a holiday fall on a quadrant’s regularly-scheduled pickup day, the entire schedule will move forward by a day. No change is proposed for trash and recycling collection for downtown commercial businesses.
Patriot Disposal will begin collection in the town July 2, but full operation including the new fleet of collection vehicles and container deployment could take until Sept. 1.
Council members applauded the news and said they were hopeful that the service provided by Patriot will be far better than its current contractor, ESI. The town’s previous contract through CSI was sold to ESI in late 2017 and service troubles and customer complaints have become commonplace in Leesburg since.
“I would rather have less service done great than more service done poorly,” Councilman Tom Dunn said.
In addition to the town’s 11,450 single-family attached and detached homes, there are 22 dumpsters for town facilities, 73 condominium or commercial dumpsters and a public recycling center at the Leesburg Walmart.