Knoxville signs landfill contact with Waste Connections, deal expected to save $5.2M

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The city stands to save $5.2 million over the next 10 years for moving its garbage from Anderson County to Athens.

The City Council approved a contact with Waste Connections of Tennessee Inc. to move the city’s refuse to its Meadow Branch landfill.

Last year, city residents and businesses generated 57,724 tons of solid waste that went to Anderson County. The expiring contract pays the landfill operator $22.32 a ton; that operator proposed a new contract at $29 a ton.

WCI proposed a rate of $19.93 a ton. 

“Two companies submitted proposals, and both operate modern, lined landfills that are in full compliance with the state’s rules and regulations,” Public Service Director Chad Weth said. “Both exceed state sustainability requirements by managing their landfill gases for beneficial reuse – one creates electricity and the other contributes to the natural gas pipeline. 

“The administration recommended, and council agreed, to contract landfill services with Waste Connections of Tennessee Inc., which also collects curbside garbage and recyclables citywide. We anticipate increased efficiency by consolidating services with one vendor. The bottom line is, we’re careful stewards of taxpayer dollars, and WCI will provide services for significantly less money.” 

Under the previous contract, WCI garbage trucks would drive approximately 30 miles roundtrip to another owner’s Anderson County landfill.

As part of the new contract with WCI, the company will eventually haul refuse from the City’s Solid Waste Facility, 1033 Elm St., at no cost.

“This is currently handled by city staff driving a large truck to Anderson County five or six times a day,” according to a release from the city. “Consolidating this operation through WCI will increase overall efficiency and further shave city expense.”

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