Siler City commissioners talk trash

Renewal of Waste Industries garbage contract under threat


Siler City Commissioners tackled the town’s 2024-25 budget at a special Saturday meeting on April 6.

One of the more contentious moments of the meeting came during discussion of waste management, currently contracted through Waste Industries, about how well the waste is managed, and whether to renew the contract.

“Have we talked to them about their quality of service?” asked Mayor Donald Matthews. “Because those calls are coming in. Matter of fact, my garbage is still on the curb. It was supposed to be picked up yesterday.”

The board seemed inclined to agree with the mayor’s concerns, but the lack of competitors was likely to be an ongoing problem if the contract was terminated.

Starting a municipal-run trash program comes with heavy upfront costs, while continuation of the current contract will see a paying an extra 3%.

“We need to take a close look at their contract and see what is stated and, if they're in violation, we need to move on from them because they are doing everything from busting cans, leaving cans in the middle of the street, spilling garbage on the street. I mean they're horrible,” Matthews said, leaving no doubt about his opinion on the current service. “If we can get away from them and find a way to get out from under them we need to do that ASAP.”

In a less controversial move, a new $750,000 emergency fund will be created that will require future authorization from the board before its funds can be allocated. The hope is to keep it from being used as a rainy day fund rather than as a true emergency fund.

The city is eyeing community upgrades at parks and recreation facilities, too.

“We already have put that plan in motion. I have asked certain things to be looked at and come back with bids,” said Mayor Matthews, when asked about funding for badly needed park upgrades. “I'm still looking for that to come in so we can get some of this work done and get these parks up to speed.”