Although the cost of private sanitation services has become more competitive and the EIC budget projection appears obtainable, there are other factors which must be considered when comparing current services to outside contract services.
First, our current services are excellent, with routes staffed by the same Greenburgh employees we have known for years, trust implicitly and who have served us diligently. Outside services will hire lower paid, more transient workers, with less commitment to our community. There is a value to maintaining the current services.
The most critical limitation in hiring outside sanitation contractors is the loss of these workers in the DPW workforce. Sanitation staff, during the periods they are not handling trash and recycling, can fulfill DPW requirements such as cleaning our roads, operating snow equipment, making infrastructure repairs and most important, be available in emergency/crisis events, such as the storms experienced in the winter of 2018. A limited DPW workforce of 10 staff, as proposed by the EIC, just can’t handle our work load alone and leaves us extremely vulnerable in an emergency.
The EIC has stated that it has researched vendors and can deliver a sanitation contract providing increased services and substantial savings. The EIC consultants have never met with the Greenburgh Sanitation staff to determine need and these proposals for outside services have not been made public, so there is no opportunity to determine if the following has been included or considered:
Greenburgh provides services which may not be included in the EIC’s requirements for sanitation contractors, including:
- Somebody responsible to call if there is a problem.
- The Westchester County requirement for all outside contractors to pay “prevailing wage,” which could be as high as $50/hour, based upon Dept. of Labor requirement.
- The reality that any new sanitation staff may be required by Westchester County to be members of the Union. (Teamsters)
- Bulk pick up, now every Thursday
- Weekly pick up of “organics,” branches, leaf clippings and bagged leaves.
- Weekly, pickup of roadside trash and litter found along our streets and facilities, as well as fallen branches and debris. We have already demonstrated that the EIC proposed DPW will be inadequate to handle our current requirements.
- No Limitation on the number of bags of trash and the size of objects generally allowed.
- Service to the Coops, Condos and Rental, Multifamily Housing on Central Avenue, at no cost to residents.
- Dumping, Transfer Station, “Tipping” fees, for disposal of solids, recyclables and organics.
- The expectation and solicitation of gratuities by workers.
- A large, well maintained fleet of specialized vehicles, operated by excellent staff members we have known for years and whom we can absolutely trust.
- No need to re-contract every year to stay within budget.