OCEAN CITY – Richard Malone apparently likes to talk trash, as he is the senior project manager for the Solid Waste Department in Ocean City. Yet, when he talked trash with the council this week, he proposed a way of making the disposal of waste and the town’s pockets a bit more green.
The City Council unanimously, with President Joe Mitrecic absent, passed through a proposal to bid out the removal of the town’s trash to a private company this week, and the move will save the town a minimum of $400,000 and extend the lifespan of the county landfill where Ocean City’s trash currently ends up by a significant amount.
Malone told the council that a private firm had approached the town with the desire to take over the task of hauling its waste and paying the disposal fee to a waste energy plant.
Malone noted that because tipping fees for trash are extremely high currently, awarding the job to a private company via the request for proposal process would be cost effective.
“For the amount we pay in tipping fee right now, we had one company tell us they could do the entire operation for less,” said Malone. “This is a very green idea and it has repercussions to Worcester County as well.”
According to Malone, Ocean City creates 38-40 percent of all the trash in the county and this decision will extend the life of the landfill by the same percentage.
“The private company will haul the trash from the transfer station at 65th street, so the residents and visitors will still be serviced by the town’s fleet of trash vehicles, and at no time will residents or visitors even notice the difference made by this decision,” said Malone.
With the change, Malone believes that the town’s trash will more than likely go to a waste energy plant, which will incinerate the trash and create electricity as a result.
“They are taking trash to the facility, so they get paid, and they are making electricity on the other end and someone gets paid for that, so I believe that anyone who is going to make a reasonable proposal to us where it will be less than our current costs, will more than likely take our trash to a waste energy plant,” he said.
Malone said the move was as environmentally friendly as it was fiscally feasible for the town.
“It is always our goal to keep the town of Ocean City clean, but what we are looking at now is a more cost effective way of disposal that is better for the environment as well,” he said.