Friday, April 18, 2003
Good news on waste disposal contract
On April 8, Shawn Worcester of the New England Solid Waste Committee (NESWC) presented the selectmen with contract options for town waste disposal after the current contract expires in 2005. Carlisle could potentially save over $100,000 per year under the new contract.
NESWC is a consortium of 23 communities formed by the state to negotiate as a block for solid waste disposal services. (See article in the February 28 issue.) Carlisle had previously expressed interest in a further two-year-nine-month contract with Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. of North Andover, the current holder of the NEWSC contract. Worcester said the contract has been negotiated for $64/ ton for the first nine months, rising to $69/ton for the next year, and topping out at $70.50/ton for the last year. This is a considerable reduction from the $122/ton Carlisle currently pays.
Worcester called the new rates "competitive with the market today" and showed a chart indicating what other Massachusetts communities pay, typically between $70 and $90 per ton. The contract also eliminates the "guaranteed tonnage" clause which became costly as recycling reduced tonnage, as well as the price adjustments for "uncontrollable circumstances" which shifted risk to the member communities.
Chair Doug Stevenson said Carlisle had been told "we were paying above market to get the facility going and we could expect to reap the benefits later ... It seems we won't be paying as much less than market as we've been paying more than market." Selectman Vivian Chaput questioned what the follow-on contract would be after the two-year nine- month contract expires, a question Worcester was unable to answer.
Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie said "Shawn and his group have done a wonderful job," in negotiating on Carlisle's behalf and added, "Carlisle doesn't have enough tonnage to negotiate a really great contract." She noted there are few alternatives to Wheelabrator as transportation costs to more distant facilities become excessive.
Worcester characterized the current contract as "painful" and conceded that NESWC towns are paying "among the highest rates in the country." He asked that the selectmen make a decision on a new contract by June 30 when the offer from Wheelabrator expires.
© 2003 The