Firm offers cost-saving advice for trash pickup

FRONT ROYAL – The town could save money by cleaning up how it picks up trash, a consultant said.

Town Council heard a report Monday from MidAtlantic Solid Waste Consultants, who evaluated Front Royal’s solid-waste collection system. The town hired the Orlando, Florida, firm two years ago to conduct the study of the collection system and to come up with any recommendations to make it more efficient or save money. The contract limited the cost of the services to $20,000.

Cost-saving measures could include cutting positions and switching to different vehicles.

Council members didn’t indicate they supported any of the recommendations. Instead, council plans to take the study under advisement.

Councilman Eugene Tewalt, a vocal critic of the town’s collection system, again complained that the routes need addressing. Tewalt said he sees trucks travel down his street several times in a collection day. The consultant’s contract did not include a study of the routes.

The town could save approximately $70,000 a year by converting to all rear-load collection vehicles. The town uses both front- and rear-load vehicles, which costs more and provides little benefit. The change would allow the department to eliminate or reassign two crew positions, resulting in a reduction of seven route days.

The town could save approximately $146,000 a year by implementing curbside, single-stream recycling collection using rear-loaders. Collection crews no longer would need to sort the recyclables at the curb into a multi-compartment trailers. Rather, crews could dump all recyclables into the rear-loader. The department could eliminate or reassign three positions. The town could close the consolidation center and deliver recyclables to a local processor further away than the current facility.

Front Royal should take steps to reduce the average age of the fleet and increase the maintenance of the vehicles.

The town has only 33 commercial customers and should consider seeking a private firm to collect from this sector or exit the business entirely. Many local governments don’t attempt to serve the commercial sector. Or the town could take over all commercial collections in the corporate limits, making the system more efficient, the report states.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com