The Town of Babylon has signed a 10-year extension on the contract with its commercial garbage hauler.
A decadelong deal with West Babylon-based Winters Bros. Waste Systems was due to expire at the end of 2020, but the town has opted to enact a clause that allows for two five-year extensions.
The company this year is charging $2.18 per cubic yard of waste from a front-end loader truck, a 4-cent increase over last year’s rate. The rate is calculated by a formula based on 50 percent of the inflation rate, creating “modest” increases every year, said Ron Kluesener, the town’s solid waste administrator. Babylon has 5,000 commercial customers generating about 1 million cubic yards of waste annually, he said. The town paid $2.98 million to Winters Bros. in 2017 and estimates paying $3.04 million this year.
“We knew if we bid this out in a year or two that Winters Bros. would still be the lowest bidder, most likely, but would bid much higher than the $2.18, so why would we let that happen?” Kluesener said, noting rising fuel costs.
A key part of the decision is the looming expiration of Babylon’s contract with Covanta Energy, which processes the town’s solid waste. That 30-year contract, which costs the town about $20 million per year, expires next April. Officials said that having both the commercial and residential garbage contracts in place allows the town to focus on the larger Covanta contract negotiations.
“This is a really predictable, stable setup we have now,” said Doug Jacob, a town consultant involved in the negotiations. “It’s really important that we know what the collection costs are because that sort of governs what we think we should pay Covanta.”
The extension outlines additional services and givebacks from Winters Bros. The company will provide new containers to all commercial customers, a value the town estimates at $3 million. Winters Bros. also will provide the town with a “like-new” front-loader truck, estimated to cost $250,000, to use for garbage collection at town beaches. Town officials said this will save $8,000 in annual overtime used for the two employees required for a rear-loading truck.
Winters Bros. also will begin disposing of all electronics waste in the town, an estimated $150,000 annual savings. The company will maintain the area around 150 sumps in the town, which Babylon officials list as a $30,000 annual savings. The company is also contracted to donate $25,000 annually to the town’s summer concert series. In addition, the town is requiring that Winters Bros. install GPS units in all of its vehicles.