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Competition marks local trash pickup

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
July 16, 2002
With two additional garbage companies operating in Meridian, city leaders say they now have a clear advantage when re-working their contract with Waste Management.
City leaders said Golden Triangle Waste Services of West Point and Southern Waste Disposal of Meridian offer two alternatives to Waste Management Inc.
The city is in the middle of a four-year contract with Waste Management, which provides residential garbage pickup in Meridian twice a week.
Golden Triangle and Southern Waste Disposal have provided garbage pickup for area businesses the last three months. Golden Triangle serves nearly 60 businesses, Southern Waste serves about 100.
The players
Southern Waste is a 4-year-old private company based in Meridian. Before providing businesses with trash pickup, the company placed dumpsters at construction sites.
Golden Triangle, created by Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Webster counties, is considered a public entity and does not pay any taxes. Company vehicles have government car tags.
Golden Triangle currently houses dumpsters in the parking lot of the city-owned Delco Remy building. In return, the waste company gives Delco Remy its own dumpster to use.
Meridian Chief Administrative Officer Ken Storms suggested Golden Triangle place dumpsters at Delco Remy. Storms, though, didn't want to comment on the company's future role in Meridian.
Questionable competition
Jimmie Moore, sales manager with Southern Waste in Meridian, said that Golden Triangle has a major advantage because it was created by three county governments.
Fair or not, the city could consider proposals from the two new companies and Waste Management when negotiating a new garbage collection contract.
Thomas said such a move already is underway.
The current contract between Meridian and Waste Management charges the city $12.57 a month for each household for twice-a-week garbage collection.
With 12,448 households currently served, the city pays $1.8 million each year for garbage pick-up.
Company service
Even though some residents have complained about Waste Management's service during the past few years, Thomas said he has been relatively pleased with the company.
The Meridian Public School District has already used the new competition to save thousands of dollars.
When the school district renegotiated its Waste Management contract earlier this year, bids came in at nearly $5,000 less a month than it was in the previous contract.

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