Public forum on trash collection to be Tuesday

Published 1:15 am Sunday, December 17, 2017


NATCHEZ — City Planner Riccardo Giani said all sorts of “avenues” exist for the city’s future waste collection and residents can help determine which path the city takes.

Giani will lead a public forum at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers to gauge public sentiment and receive input from residents to see what kind of services the city should seek when it puts out a request for proposals (RFP) a few months from now.

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“Any input, any concerns, all that stuff — it will all play into a factor when we go into this RFP process,” Giani said.

The city entered into an emergency contract with Waste Pro in November after a complicated sequence of events that involved a vote to end the contract between the two parties, a failure to craft an RFP or enter into a temporary renewal leading up to the original contract’s deadline, and a last-minute compromise between the two sides to suspend recycling pickup in exchange for maintaining residential rates.

As a result, the city was afforded four to six months’ time to put together an RFP, which officials have said would be a complex process.

For that reason, Giani said, feedback from residents Tuesday is essential.

“It’s important that the public understand various things can be included in this RFP,” Giani said.

One idea floating around city hall is reducing pickup from twice weekly to just once a week in an effort to reduce cost.

That reduction could mitigate the potential for an increase in rates once the city signs its next waste contract.

“It seems to be that for a community our size, once a week trash (collection) could be an option,” Giani said.

Giani said the public forum would begin with an introduction about the topic at hand that would provide background for attendees, but most of the time will be dedicated to answering questions or addressing concerns from residents.

The City Council Chambers is located at 115 S. Pearl St.