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Privatization of trash collection is a win/win for all

Trash collection in house is the most expensive and time consuming aspect of city DPW operations. It requires six workers full time 52 weeks per year. Garbage trucks are out daily racking up extensive stop and go miles. They break down constantly which is itself very costly. Replacing a truck costs at least $225,000. Workers have to stand on the backs of these trucks exposed to weather and traffic manually collecting trash curbside. Most on the job injuries of city employees are incurred by these laborers.

Privatization was considered only after extensive cost analysis over several months. We are not alone. Of all American cities, large and small, 61 percent have privatized trash collection. Clearly, they have reached the same conclusions we have.

The savings of $500,000 over the next four years is purely monetary savings due to eliminating need to purchase and maintain equipment, fuel savings and the elimination by attrition of four DPW positions. This does not count additional savings due to increased DPW productivity.

Part of this $500,000 savings was eliminating our projected need to purchase a new truck in 2023 at $225,000. But last week the engine block cracked and the frame is failing on another garbage truck. This would have required us to purchase yet another truck this year. The projected savings is now $725,000 over four years with more than $250,000 in savings this year alone.

This new operation will be automated. Every household will be provided with a trash bin on wheels free of charge and of a size each household deems suitable — 35, 65, or 95 gallons.

Weekly collection will be on the same weekday as you have currently and will now be collected on all holidays except for Thanksgiving and Christmas day.

Due to increased efficiency, DPW will now provide bulk pickup services on Wednesdays year-round on a ward-by-ward six week rotating basis.

I have discussed this extensively with local news media many times over many months. As elected officials, our contact information is public. Anyone could have expressed opinions or asked questions of any of us at any time.

At the end of the day, this decision is a no brainer. It is a clear win for city residents and a clear win for the city budget. It is absolutely the right thing to do.

VINCENT DESANTIS

City of Gloversville Mayor

Gloversville

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