PAWTUCKET — The Grebien Administration appears poised to outsource the city's trash collection and recycling services in a move that could potentially mean the loss of 20 to 24 jobs.
In June, the administration put out a request for proposals (RFP) for curbside refuse and recycling services for the city. At the time, the city was seeking bids on a joint plan that would involve Pawtucket as well as Central Falls and East Providence. The bid also stated that all refuse and recycling collected within these municipalities would be hauled to Pawtucket's Grotto Avenue transfer station, which is now operated by the private vendor Waste Haulers, Inc.
According to city officials, the city received bids from four vendors, and the lowest bidder is MTG Disposal. This is the firm currently under contract with the city of East Providence. City officials say that AFSCME RI Council 94 Local 1012, the union representing Pawtucket's sanitation workers, asked to do its own cost analysis and submitted that to the city as a rebuttal that privatization would be cheaper.
Antonio Pires, director of administration for Mayor Donald Grebien, said that the administration city then asked for an outside review of the two proposals from an impartial source: the Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council (RIPEC). He said this assessment has just been received back and is in the process of being reviewed.
While he said he could not yet comment on the RIPEC study, Pires did say that figures show privatization of the trash pick-up would save the city about $1 million annually.
Read more in our print edition.