City schools might dump waste contract

Published 10:53pm Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Selma City School Board might be close to making a change in the company used to remove waste from the system’s schools and facilities.

During Tuesday’s work session, school board president Henry Hicks Sr. and Frank Chestnut Jr. said the system should consider ending their service with Waste Management Inc., because the board is not pleased with the level of service the company is providing.

“I suggest we rebid, but I’m just one board member,” Chestnut said.

Hicks said Waste Management might be dumping more often than is needed for some schools within the system, adding to the cost.

Hicks suggested a board member check dumpsters each Friday throughout the system to see if there is a need for the dumpsters be dumped twice each week. Currently some locations are dumped each Friday and Monday.

“It might take a little legwork, but we need to see if there is actually anything in the dumpsters when they dump it on Mondays,” Hicks said.

On average, Waste Management Inc. collects trash three days of the week. The size and amount of quantity of dumpsters varies, according to the size of each school.

Attempts to reach Waste Management for comment Thursday were not successful.

Hicks said the company and the board should not make the mistake of choosing the cheapest service over the best service.

Hicks said it’s important to strongly consider multiple bids each year, not just pick the cheapest one.

“Competition always drives down the price,” Hicks said.

Board attorney Katy Campbell said that the law requires the school board accept the lowest bid from a waste disposal company with only a few exceptions.

“The law says we must expect the lowest bid, unless the quality isn’t what was expected,” she said. “There has to be documented reason the school board has rejected the lowest bid. “

Some of the dumpsters have become public use, despite the fact they are only intended for the Selma City public schools, Hicks said.

He questioned a need for large dumpsters in certain small school such as Phoenix School.

“I don’t even see why we have a dumpster at Phoenix,” Hicks said. “We are just providing the a dumpster for the community.”

Chestnut said something should be done to ensure schools are the only ones using the dumpsters throughout the week.

“Our dumpsters have become a community dumpster,” Chestnut said. “We need to do something about it.”

Hicks ended the discussion with a request that facilities director Ray Mathiews record the weekly tonnage of waste so the board can determine if it would be worthwhile to rebid the contract.

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