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Yorktown Weighs Risks Of Cheaper Garbage Pickup Contract

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Switching garbage pickup companies next year would save Yorktown nearly $500,000, but some are wondering whether those savings would outweigh a loss of experience.

Yorktown changed language in its bid specifications earlier this year that gave startup companies a chance to win its residential garbage pickup contract. Yorktown previously required 10 years of experience from its garbage crews, but the new bid had no requirement on experience.

The change resulted in two bids coming in that were $300,000 and $800,000 less than the 2012 contract the town has with C.R.P. Sanitation. Competition Carting came in as the unofficial lowest bidder at $2.49 million annually. C.R.P was the unofficial second lowest bidder at $3 million annually.

"The argument to go with the original guy is he’s in business, he knows what he’s doing, he has the financial backing," council member Nick Bianco said. "The new guy has nothing — zero, other than a license. Never picked up residential garbage. But then again, should you not give a new person the benefit of the doubt and maybe they can do it?"

C.R.P. has been Yorktown’s residential garbage collector for seven years. The town's initial six-year contract with the company expired Dec. 31, 2011, and it was brought back on a one-year contract in 2012.

Bianco and the rest of the town board hopes to meet with officials from the competing companies at Tuesday night’s work session. The board has an obligation to choose the lowest “responsible” bidder, which Bianco said is a key word when it comes to the newer Competition Carting.

“There’s a couple questions that I need answered,” he said. “I’m not going to vote to award the bid if I don’t see them there answering my questions, but I’ll give them a fair shake.”

Susan Siegel, former Yorktown Supervisor and founder of Citizens for an Informed Yorktown, also wondered whether the savings would be worth the risk.

"Is the lowest price always the best price? How do you vet a company with no experience?" she said. "Lots of questions about an important town service."

Tuesday’s work session begins at 7:30 p.m. in Yorktown Town Hall at 363 Underhill Ave.

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