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County agrees to new contract with Republic
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Republic Waste Service will continue to provide sanitation service to the unincorporated areas of Effingham County after county commissioners approved a new contract.

County staff met with Republic officials last week to iron out details of the new package, which include performance measures for the often-criticized waste hauler.

“I am particularly concerned about the performance measures,” commission Chairwoman Verna Phillips said.

There are penalties for such items as missed collections, spills or leaks from trucks and failure to deliver carts on time.

Under the new deal, the county can charge Republic for one month’s service if it fails to conduct a scheduled pickup within 48 hours. Also, if a Republic truck is leaking or spilling, the company has to notify the county within two hours of the problem. If it doesn’t, the county can assess Republic a $100 charge.

“We will be documenting all of that in our office,” said county sanitation director Connie Burns. “When a contractor has a problem with a leaking truck, they have to notify us within two hours. If they don’t, we can assess them $100 for each occurrence. We also have to have proof from them they followed proper cleanup procedures.”

Republic also must deliver carts to residences or businesses that request them within 10 working days from the time someone signs up for the service or the county won’t pay for trash collection at that address.

In the contract, the county addressed the age of the trucks Republic uses, since older trucks are more likely to have leaks or spills. Of the six trucks Republic will devote to garbage collection around the county, none will be older than eight years when the contract expires in five years and only one will be seven years old.

Republic’s policy is to replace trucks as they reach eight years of service, according to Burns.

Burns said the performance measures were the ones they believed could be tracked, and Republic is expected to deliver daily and weekly reports to the county.

Republic will order four new trucks for its Effingham routes. The new vehicles are expected to take 60 to 90 days to be delivered.

“All of the trucks should remain in good working condition throughout the life of the contract,” Burns said.

The trucks also will have litter control devices on them. Republic officials dispute their effectiveness, but county officials wanted to do something to cut into the litter problem.

The contract also includes a provision for fuel allowance. The allowance has a base price of $2.75 a gallon, and it will kick in once fuel gets an average of 30 cents above the base price. That won’t be determined until July.

“We will be taking the average cost of fuel each day for that quarter,” Burns said.

If the price of fuel falls below that average, the county gets a rebate on the fuel allowance.

Republic also has contracts with the county’s municipalities for garbage collection service.

“The cities are aware of what we’re doing, and Guyton is very interested,” Burns said.