BEAUFORT — Following several months of talks, town officials will consider two bids for privatized trash collection in August. 

Staff has been leaning on the board to consider the change for at least two budget cycles, but so far commissioners have stalled on pulling the plug on town-led residential collections.

In June, they unanimously rejected a sole, unopened bid, and rebid the initiative for competition’s sake – this time bringing in two options.

Waste Industries Inc., who has been working with the town on estimates for some time, returned a bid of $7.30 per house per month for trash collection, plus $2.65 for recyclables for a grand total of $9.95 per month. 

Republic Services Inc.’s bid was higher, with $8.65 in trash collection and $5.65 in recycling per house per month, totaling $14.30. 

As part of the 2016-17 budget, the council amended the town fee schedule with a $6 hike in household collection fees, from $11 to $17.  Collection of yard debris and bulk items is a part of that cost, roughly $3.10, per figures from town hall. 

The pickup of public trash cans along Front Street is not included in the bids, and town staff will continue this work, along with bulk pickup and construction debris if privatization goes through, according to the latest discussions from town staff. 

As the low bidder, Waste Industries is the likely candidate for approval by the town. The company provides trash collection services for several other municipalities in the county. 

Notably, they would charge an additional cost of living increase to their contract each year. 

Should commissioners choose to continue town-run collections, Beaufort is set to hire another two personnel and purchase a truck this year. 

Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.   

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