Paradise Valley Town Council, in one way or another, have been talking trash for nearly 20 years, but the culmination of those talks appears to be turning a corner, as elected officials are ready to move forward with a formal bid process that breaks away from historical stance of how trash is collected within town limits.

During a June 8 study session, the town council took its final read over a request-for-proposal to be submitted for local trash haulers to bid on the service of approximately 5,600 homes.

If the council moves forward with one provider, it would set forth a change from a free-market system that has been maintained within the town since its inception.

In January 2016, the town council discussed quality of life issues — trash being one of the crucial topics that officials say has been an area in need of change for years.

Several months later, the town is poised to issue an RFP for solid waste, recycling and specialty waste collection and disposal services.

The biggest change could be a switch to one single hauler townwide, rather than the free-market system offering residents the ability to choose their own trash hauler. The free-market system has culminated with the town licensing five solid waste providers.

“As a result, many town residents are familiar with very customized services to meet their unique residential situation,” the draft RFP states, illustrating the thorough process of public meetings the town has hosted to understand residents needs and wants for their rubbish and recycling.

In October 2016 town staff approved an ordinance requiring:

  • Vehicles with diesel engines must be less than seven years old and in good condition and repair;
  • Vehicle fleets are required to have “operation-at-idle” and “smart back-up” technology;
  • All licensees shall provide containers free of defects and include a lid that prevents rainwater from entering the container with a fully functioning hinge;
  • Residential collection, including recyclables, will be 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays for those living south of Lincoln Drive and west of Tatum Boulevard; and 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday and Thursdays for those living north of Lincoln Drive and east of Tatum Boulevard.

The ordinance aims to reduce the frequency of trucks for safety; reduce wear and tear on streets; reduce noise and rates; and improve environmental sustainability, town leaders contend.

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