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Stephenville council tendering garbage collection, leasing backhoe

Jesus Guilarte, a worker with the Town of Stephenville's public works department, is seen loading garbage aboard the truck on Nina Crescent in Stephenville.
Jesus Guilarte, a worker with the Town of Stephenville's public works department, is seen loading garbage aboard the truck on Nina Crescent in Stephenville. - Frank Gale

The Town of Stephenville and other municipalities in the area could possibly be getting out of the garbage collection business.

That’s if a private entity comes in with a good enough tender.

Coun. Mark Felix, chair of the town’s finance committee, said at last Thursday’s regular general meeting of the Stephenville town council, said after approving the town go to tender with other communities for garbage collection that they will determine whether private collection is a more appropriate way to go.

“This will be brought back to council for a full evaluation before any decision is made on it. If it can be done at a better price then we will consider it,” he said.

Felix said a consideration that has to be looked at is once the provincial waste management strategy for Western Newfoundland goes into effect there are different streams of waste, so equipment to handle recyclables will have to be used.

Coun. Mike Tobin said even if they go with a private contractor, there will be no job loss as the employee who operates the garbage truck will be kept on for duties in the town’s public works department.

Backhoe lease:

Also under consideration of capital costs, council approved permission for the town to lease a backhoe from John Deere at $30,000 a year during a four-year period.

Felix said a lease would be cheaper than a purchase in the long run because a backhoe costs about $140,000 and by the time it’s close to being paid off is when you start running into costly maintenance issues.

“This way every four years you get a new machine to lease,” he said.

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