Knoxville City Council unanimously authorized Mayor Indya Kincannon to execute a 10-year landfill contract for disposal of solid waste that will save taxpayers an estimated $523,557 a year – or $5.2 million over a decade.
“Two companies submitted proposals, and both operate modern, lined landfills that are in full compliance with the state’s rules and regulations,” Public Service Director Chad Weth said. “Both exceed state sustainability requirements by managing their landfill gases for beneficial reuse – one creates electricity and the other contributes to the natural gas pipeline.
“The administration recommended, and Council agreed, to contract landfill services with Waste Connections of Tennessee Inc. (WCI), which also collects curbside garbage and recyclables citywide. We anticipate increased efficiency by consolidating services with one vendor. The bottom line is, we’re careful stewards of taxpayer dollars, and WCI will provide services for significantly less money.”
Last year, City residents and businesses generated 57,724 tons of solid waste that went to a landfill in Anderson County. The expiring contract pays the landfill operator $22.32 a ton; that operator proposed a new contract at $29 a ton. WCI proposed a rate of $19.93 a ton.
Currently, WCI garbage trucks drive approximately 30 miles roundtrip to another owner’s Anderson County landfill. Under the new contract, WCI will haul to a centralized transfer station in Knoxville and then drive larger trucks to its Meadow Branch landfill in Athens, Tenn.
Additionally, WCI will eventually be hauling refuse from the City’s Solid Waste Facility, 1033 Elm St., at no cost. This is currently handled by City staff driving a large truck to Anderson County five or six times a day. Consolidating this operation through WCI will increase overall efficiency and further shave City expense.