The La Joya City Commission may select a new garbage contractor next month.
City Administrator Mike Alaniz accepted proposals from three garbage contractors — including Waste Connections of Texas-RGV, which currently serves La Joya — on Monday morning.
“We have had really good service from Waste Connections. There’s no doubt about it,” Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas said on July 10, when La Joya submitted a termination notice to Waste Connections. “But if the city can make more money, we’ll be more than glad to see any contracts.”
Garbage is a moneymaker for La Joya.
Waste Connections charges the city a minimum of $7.49 per month for every residential garbage bin and $3.46 per month for residential brush removal, according to the contract, which allows the company to adjust the rate based on fuel prices.
La Joya charges residents $14.55 per month for garbage collection and $4.46 per month for brush removal. The difference subsidizes other city services.
“It goes straight to general fund,” Alaniz said.
Commercial and industrial rates vary depending on the type of waste and size of the container. La Joya doesn’t offer recycling.
Negotiating a better garbage contract or switching providers could provide La Joya with additional revenue.
“The company that we have at this point in time is pretty fair and impartial,” Alaniz said. “We’re doing a good job. But we did get more than a few requests from other waste services that they wanted to be given that opportunity.”
La Joya sent Waste Connections a cancellation letter on July 10, providing 90 days notice. The city started soliciting proposals in August.
Three contractors responded.
Mission-based RGV Metro Waste, which serves about 5,000 rural Hidalgo County residents and about 200 businesses, submitted a proposal. The family owned company employs 14 people.
“Of course, if we were to get La Joya, we do have people lined up,” said company President Rodolfo Treviño.
San Antonio-based ACI Recycling and Disposal, which provides garbage service to Edcouch, also submitted a proposal. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.
La Joya will compare both companies to Waste Connections, which submitted a new proposal and wants to keep the contract. District Manager Roberto Canales couldn’t be reached for comment after the deadline to submit proposals.
It’s not clear why Republic Services, which collects garbage in Sullivan City, Peñitas and Palmview, didn’t submit a proposal. The company, which routes all media inquiries to corporate headquarters, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Alaniz said the city published a public notice, which met the legal requirement for advertising the request for proposals, but didn’t solicit bids from individual contractors.
“The city didn’t call up those entities because we didn’t promote it,” Alaniz said.
La Joya plans to review the proposals and make a decision during the next few weeks.