Garbage collection costs skyrocket for Nackawic-Millville

by | Feb 5, 2024

Council awards one-year tender as it studies cheaper options for the future

“Take a deep breath,” Nackawic-Millville Mayor Tim Fox advised council members as they prepared to view the tender results for the solid waste collection and disposal. 

With garbage collection in five of the rural community’s six wards needing renewal by Feb. 1, the town faced an 86.3 per cent increase in cost over 2023. 

To reduce the unexpected jump, council opted to put the service out to tender. Even with two firms bidding to land individual contracts for each ward, the costs failed to improve significantly.

CAO Kathryn Clark explained the low bids to serve the five wards will cost the town $339,421 for 11 months starting Feb. 1, 2024. She added that compares to $206,505 for 2023. 

With the addition of Ward 3, the former town of Nackawic, which still has two years remaining on its current contract, the total waste collection bill for the year will surpass $400,000, which is significantly over budget. 

Clark said the former town will pay $60,000 in 2024 and $62,000 in 2025. She expects the price to double in 2026. 

Clark added that the waste management costs do not include the $112,000 tipping fees.  

The tender asked bidders to offer prices for garbage collected in each ward for 2024, 2025 and 2026. 

One company, Li’l Truck’ Aarons, submitted the same prices for Years 1, 2 and 3, while Fero’s prices increased significantly yearly. 

The companies’ prices varied per ward, with bidding close for 2024 in some wards, and significantly different in others. 

Li’l Truckin’ Aarons quoted $62,400 for 2024 in Ward 1 Southampton, while Fero tendered a similar bid of $63,839. Fero’s bid jumped to $74,518 in the second year and $79,734 in the third. 

In Ward 2 Temperance Vale, Li’l Truckin’ Aarons quoted $62,400 in 2024, significantly lower than Fero’s $93,674, climbing to $109,343 and $116,997 in Years 2 and 3. 

Ward 4, Millville, saw bids of $62,400 per year from Li’l Truckin’ Aarons and $83,720 in 2024, climbing to $97,735 and $104,576 over the next two. 

Fero placed the lowest bid for Ward 5, Dumfries, with a quote of $75,373 in the first year, significantly lower than Li’l Truckin’ Aaron’s offer of $93,600. Fero’s bid climbed to $88,564 and $94,764 in the subsequent years. 

Li’l Truckin’ Aarons quote returned to $62,400 for Ward 6 Queensbury, while Fero submitted a tender for $89,597 in 2024, $104,584 in 2025 and $111,905 in 2026. 

During the discussion, Coun. Robert Simpson said the council cannot avoid approving a contract for 2024,  but it should use the year to consider other options. 

Coun. Katie Nozzolillo agreed, making a motion to call on town staff to explore other options in the future. 

Council suggested that those options include determining the cost of purchasing its own truck or trucks and having staff handle waste collection. 

Clark said some municipalities used to handle their own garbage collection, noting Fredericton still does. 

Council approved a motion to accept the bids for 2024, awarding Wards 1, 2, 4 and 6 to Li’l Truckin’ Aarons and Ward 5 to Fero. 

While he understands costs are rising for all service providers, Mayor Fox said, “I don’t understand an 86.6 per cent increase.” 

Clark estimated the renewed garbage collection costs would leave Nackawic-Millville with a $176,000 budget shortage. 

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