The city of Union extended its agreement with Waste Connections of Missouri.

The board of aldermen voted Monday night to extend its deal. The board approved  an ordinance to enter into a new five-year deal with the Bridgeton-based company. 

The new deal starts Sept. 1. Union City Administrator Russell Rost said the terms are very similar to the current contract approved in 2014. 

In fact, he said the rates are comparable to quoted terms back when the city was seeking vendors in 2009. 

In the first year of the new deal, residents would pay $16.73 per month. Seniors would pay $15.61. Additional carts would cost $3.31 a month.

The rates would increase slightly each year. In the final year of the deal, starting Sept. 1, 2023, residents would pay $18.11 per month, seniors would pay $16.90 and additional carts would cost $3.58.

Rost said the city and Solid Waste Solutions have a good working relationship. He said they already know the routes and the contract extension means residents shouldn’t notice any changes.

“It’s a pretty good deal for the city,” he said. 

Recycling Program

Part of the deal means the city can keep its recycling program. Last year, Rost said there were some concerns that could change.

China, traditionally a major purchaser of recycled materials, has slowed down in recent months, Rost said. The slowdown had caused some recycling centers to stop accepting material and some cities dropped their programs.

In Union, residents can continue to do single-stream recycling as normal, Rost said.

The only real change for the city will be an increase in education. Rost said one of the problems with recycled material are what are called contaminated loads. Any load with materials that don’t belong are being rejected at some facilities. 

Rost said the city agreed to provide information to customers about what can and can’t be recycled. He said the goal is to educate customers to cut down on potential contaminated loads. 

Issues

In addition to informing citizens about recycling, Rost also wanted customers to know how to handle problems.

Because of its relationship with the company, Rost said anyone with trash issues should contact city hall.

Rost said calling the company directly can lead to confusion. 

He said the city is in contact with the company practically daily. Any issues raised by residents can be quickly brought to the people that can address the problems. 

“We usually can resolve all of those complaints,” he said. 

Rost said the city’s newsletter and potentially utility bills will remind residents to contact city hall with any problems instead of calling the company.