Privatizing Garbage Collection In Benwood Is Being Delayed

BENWOOD – A decision on whether Benwood will privatize its garbage collection services likely won’t come for another two months, according to city officials.

City Council isn’t expected to take up the issue when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and probably won’t until fall, according to Mayor Ed Kuca. Republic Services of Wheeling has just provided members with a 30-page proposed contract to take over garbage collection in Benwood, and council members want time to read through the contract, he said.

“We will be tabling the ordinance until later notice,” Kuca said. “By September, we should know what is going on.”

Each week, the workers spend all day Monday and a half-day on Friday picking up refuse, and city Public Works Coordinator Jon Howard has said privatization would free them up to complete other tasks. No city employees would be eliminated under the move.

Benwood officials also plan to sell the city’s garbage truck once a deal with a private hauler is secured.

Last month, Keith Koebley, general manager of Republic Services, presented a proposal to council that would set rates at $11.50 a month for residents, $18.50 per housing authority unit, and $30 for commercial units. Residential and commercial units would be picked up once a week under the plan, and the Housing Authority properties twice a week.

Council voted to accept Republic’s proposal, but it must be presented to them in contract form and written into an ordinance for council to consider. The ordinance will have to be read twice before being voted on for passage.