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Westminster City Councilors put the lid this week on a plan to bring solid waste collections under city management.
City Director of Public Works and Utilities Max Kirschbaum said city staff could not settle terms with potential trash haulers. "We were trying to meet some pretty significant criteria, where councilors thought we should go," Kirschbaum said. Councilors discussed the matter in an executive session May 8 before deciding not to pursue a contract with a single hauler, Kirschbaum said. Westminster currently licenses trash haulers but residents must find and hire a company, on their own, to collect their trash. The city was considering contracting with one or more private trash haulers to serve the city, with the intent of improving recycling collections and reducing costs to residents. The issue was the sole discussion item at the Feb. 13 City Council meeting, but councilors adjourned after taking more than three hours of testimony from residents. They postponed the rest of the discussion until Feb. 27. A public presentation of the plan details, originally scheduled for Feb. 13, was postponed to Feb. 27 as well. The original plan called for all residents to participate, and that was the biggest complaint from residents at both meetings. After the Feb. 27 meeting, councilors directed staff to continue negotiating with the trash haulers but removed the requirements that residents participate. Councilors went behind closed doors May 8 to get an update on staff's progress negotiating with haulers. The city announced councilors' decision to shelve the proposal on its website on May 9. "There is not a proposal now," Kirschbaum said. "That aspect of the discussions is finished and councilors decided not to go forward after reviewing the information from two separate rounds of negotiations."
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