Most businesses and large apartment complexes would pay less for trash collection if the city contracted with a single hauler, but some are concerned about losing the right to choose.
Isle businesses can now choose their haulers and about four operate on the island, officials said. Anybody needing commercial trash collection would have to use BFI Waste Services of Texas under a proposed contract between that company and the city, however.
The city council was slated to vote Thursday to adopt the new contract, but some council members were concerned about voting before a final draft of the contract was completed, and a third public hearing was held.
The trash contract will be back up for consideration next month.
“I’d like to get more people down here to hear what they have to say,” Councilman John Paul Listowski said.
“I’m a bit against having a single provider, so I’d like for some people to talk me into more.”
Limiting commercial trash services to one company would be more efficient for the city and make it easier to enforce good behavior by the hauler, said Brandon Cook, an assistant city manager.
Lax enforcement at some of the large apartment complexes where dumpsters either aren’t the right size or haulers aren’t picking up trash often enough was among the factors driving the change, Cook said.
If BFI gets the contract, it will make about $2.7 million in Galveston. But not all of it is new revenue because the company already has contracts for many of the commercial properties, Cook said.
Proposed new rates would cost businesses with two dumpsters about $75 a month for once-a-week pickup, according to the rate schedule.
A survey found many businesses would pay less than they are now under the proposed plan, Cook said. For instance, about 90 percent of island restaurants would pay less for similar services with the new contract, he said.
Only two business managers or owners have commented about the proposal during public hearings, but the city has gotten feedback through other channels, officials said.
Theresa Elliott, general manager at Casa del Mar beachfront condos, said she was worried about the loss of options.
“Our rates would go down,” Elliott said. “But my concerns are the basic lack of free enterprise and ability to make your own choices.”