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ALTON — City leaders here voted to purchase $925,000 in sanitation equipment to do its own sanitation pickup.

“We are going to save money for the city in the long run,” said Alton Mayor Salvador Vela. “We have been using the large companies that serve cities all over the Valley for the past five years, and each year our costs per unit have risen because there is an automatic cost of living adjustment built into their costs. What cost $17 five years ago is now $24.”

Alton is a small enough to do its own pickup, Vela explained.

“Back when garbage cans were picked up manually there was a lot of liability when workers got hurt from picking up heavy containers,” he said. “But now everything is mechanized so the liability from work related injuries is no longer there. I predict Alton will save money in the long run because we can keep our charges down.”

Items approved for purchase for the new sanitation services included a garbage truck, brush truck, roll-off boxes, a roll-off loader for brush truck, 3,500 96-gallon residential containers, and 315 300-gallon commercial containers. The total cost of the items was $834,296.85 according to Rosie Tello, finance director.

The commission was given a plan of action for transferring trash services from a private collection to a city service. The target date for taking over sanitation collection is May 1.  The equipment would be purchased within the next 15 days. Two drivers will be hired within 24 days and then trained on the operation of equipment and have routes laid out for efficiency.

Delivery of trash containers could be within 30 days of ordering. The new containers will be delivered to customers along with instructions on route or pickup changes.

Alton’s garbage will be delivered to the City of Edinburg’s landfill services at a cost of $18.25 per ton for non-hazardous waste. This includes trash, scrap food, leaves, grass, brush, bottles, cans cardboard, glass and small dead animals. No hazardous waste, such as radioactive, volatile, highly flammable, explosive or toxic materials, may be delivered to the landfill. Should hazardous waste from Alton be found at the landfill, the City of Alton is responsible for the costs associated with the locating of the materials and proper disposal.

Tires may be disposed of at a cost of $5 each.

The contract with Edinburg is good for 10 years unless the landfill is filled to capacity or Edinburg is prevented from accepting waste in the landfill for any reason.

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