Prairie Village approves 10-year agreement with Republic to replace Deffenbaugh trash collection on Jan. 1

Service issues with Deffenbaugh prompted Prairie Village to put the city's waste contract out to bid.
Service issues with Deffenbaugh prompted Prairie Village to put the city’s waste contract out to bid.

Prairie Village has agreed to a 10-year contract with Republic Services to pick up trash, recycling and yard waste materials in the city, replacing Deffenbaugh on January 1.

The city council this week was offered the choice between a 5 or 10-year contract with Republic. The council had earlier agreed to replace Deffenbaugh with Republic and begin negotiations on contract terms. Customers in the city, along with those across the metro, have experienced service problems with both Deffenbaugh and Town & Country. Both local companies have been purchased by national or regional waste haulers.

The council split 6-6 on a motion to accept the 10-year contract and Prairie Village Mayor Laura Wassmer broke the tie by voting for the 10-year contract.

The longer term offered a lower rate – $16.45 per month rather than $17.42 per month for each household – which was guaranteed for the first two years. The city will pay $29,000 per year to continue the large item pickup days. Price increases are dictated by the consumer price index for trash collection and capped at 3.25 percent per year. The current contract with Deffenbaugh had a cap of 5 percent per year.

The savings to the city for the longer term amount to nearly $100,000 per year.

Included in the agreement are provisions that will keep the current collection schedule, that maintain special collections for resident with hardships, that give a choice of a 95 gallon cart as well as smaller options and that see Republic allocating $12,500 per year for community events.

Perhaps more importantly, in light of the large number of service complaints, the contract calls for fines for excessive missed collections and sets customer service standards.

“We have a great termination clause in there,” said council member Eric Mikkelson, who favored the 10-year agreement. The clause says Republic has breached the contract if it fails to meet the customer service standards, which include a timely response to calls.

The council also approved setting the annual household assessment for disposal services at $192, up from $174 currently. In recent years, the assessment has been as high as $200 and as low as $158.

Deffenbaugh had bid $16.95 per month when the city took the contract our for bids.