So much for the sad history lesson.

Chaz StevensPolitics0 Comments


To understand the fiscal and managerial “insanity” to extend the WM contract without competitive bids, you just have to “look across the street to the west side of Military Trail”– to the unincorporated County portion of Delray which has its trash service provided by the Solid Waste Authority (SWA)– SWA Area No.5.

In 2008 while then Commissioner McDuffie approved a 63.1% Residential rate increase to WM without competitive bids, the SWA had obtained 6 months earlier competitive bids for west of Military Trail. WM was the lowest bidder  Its curbside rate was $8.25 net of a 3% Franchise Fee (FF). More on that below in italics!

The curbside rate WM charged Delray then — $11.14. That’s right–$ 2.89 per month (35% higher) more than across the street! And,remember, WM told Delray it was more economical to have City provided (resident funded) special carts so WM could provide automated service. It supposedly reduced the cost to Delray. More too on that below in italics!

So much for the sad history lesson. Where are Delray curbside trash customers today compared to SWA Area No. 5?

Four years later, WM charges Delray $11.42 and SWA Area No.5 is only charged $8.58 (net of FF). So, WM has charged Delray at least $2.80 more per month for 4 years for approximately 17,000 curbside (and rear door) customers. Over the last 4 years, WM has charged Delray curbside customers at least $2,284,800 more than it charged for curbside customers west of Military Trail!

And, the $2,284,800 doesn’t include multi-family and commercial. So, easily when compared to Area No. 5, Delray could have overpaid by $3 million!

Is it any wonder why WM is so desperately trying to extend its Delray contract without competitive bids?

Now for the “Budget Conscious” Commission Members! In its total monthly charge to its residents, SWA includes a 3% FF. Delray charges its trash customers 10% FF (plus $.90 per month for the City provided trash cart).  So, if a commissioner wants to truly look into “operational efficiency” in residential trash service, how can the SWA, with its extensive facilities and bureaucracy, only charge its trash customers a 3%FF but Delray has to charge 10%. The customer ends up paying this ‘de facto’ sales tax! The all-inclusive curbside monthly residential charge– SWA  Area No. 5 — $9.03; Delray –$13.61. That’s right! Delray curbside customers are paying $4.58 per month (51%) more!

Staff had the WM extension set up as an Agenda item again (3rd or 4th time since January) for the upcoming 8/7 Commission Meeting. For some unknown reason, it was “pulled” again. Maybe Mayor McDuffie can explain this anomaly to the other Commissioners and the public?

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