Waste Management contracts with several HOAs in Maricopa for garbage collection.

Should all of Maricopa be on the same trash service?

The City is investigating the notion in order to achieve one of the objectives in its Strategic Plan, which is strict oversight of solid-waste management. Staff prepared a request for proposals, in essence, to see what happens.

Most homeowners’ associations have their own contracts with garbage-collection vendors Waste Management or RAD Maricopa.

The proposal presented to Maricopa City Council on Tuesday would have everyone eventually on the same contract managed by the City. A code recommendation would have curb-side, residential waste collection required at each residence just as water and electricity is required.

Councilmember Nancy Smith said the move started with discussions about the high cost of garbage collection in the Heritage District, the oldest part of Maricopa, which does not have an HOA.

“They’re kind of getting robbed as an individual contracting with each of these large corporations charging them an arm and a leg,” Mayor Christian Price said.

When the Heritage District Advisory Committee brought the concerns to City Manager Ricky Horst, he started thinking citywide.

“The premise is that we would provide some degree of savings for HOAs, plus they no longer would have the burden of managing it,” Horst said. “The intent would be that it would be citywide, and the city has the authority under the statutes to do this.

“I also want to mention we met with the management groups of the HOAs six months or so ago and presented the idea, so it’s not like we’re working in a vacuum.”

The proposal does not include collection service for business.

The RFP is looking for a service that would have weekly refuse collection and on-call or mandated dates for large-item collection in all residential areas.

“Collectively, when you look at roughly 22,000 households, we think we have significant bargaining power, not only to provide better service at a lower price but perhaps enhance additional services,” Horst said.

Any contract would also scrutinize recycling service.

“Recycling is costing us far more, and they’re not doing anything with it,” Smith said.

Price said he wants to see various versions of the RFP, both citywide and Heritage District only. Councilmember Rich Vitiello also pushed more on including businesses, but Horst said the City wants to start with a residential contract.

“If it doesn’t save money and provide a better service, we don’t go there,” Horst said, “but we don’t know until we go through the bid process.”

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