It was a packed house Tuesday at the Biggs City Council Meeting. The people of Biggs and Waste Management  showed up in numbers for an item on the agenda that sparked community interest. 

The City of Biggs sent out RFP’s (Request For Proposal) on the solid waste contract up for renewal. Waste Management, Recology, and Northern Disposal each sent proposals. Waste Management came in in the middle and Recology was  the lowest. But, as Brian Bassett stated “the lowest is not always the best way to go. You have to consider quality and customer service.” He also stated, “With the rise in costs from the CA State Air Quality Board constraints, the costs are rising for these types of businesses just as well at Heat Tech in Gridley. “

Waste Management’s NCN MA Fleet Director Perry Roles stated “Waste Management’s fleet consist of approximately 60 units. Total collection trucks utilized in our refuse business that are CNG units comprises of approximately 1/3rd of the overall collection fleet make-up with plans to add four more units by year end.

WM Fleet Strategy is to continue to bring more units into the  fleet that are Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered engines in efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, and to reduce our carbon footprint with regards to overall emissions omitted from traditional diesel powered engines (Particulate Matter). In addition to cleaner emissions, folks will also realize a quieter running refuse truck, as well as reducing the dependence of the need for foreign oil.

Currently, WM has assigned a dedicated CNG unit to service the community of Biggs, which has been in place for some time. This comprises of 50 percent  of the units that are currently servicing Biggs.

CNG Powered units cost approximately $346,000 and approximately 19 percent  more than a traditional diesel powered unit. In efforts to do what is right, and to comply with ever increasing regulations now and more in the future, Waste Management is well ahead of the game.

Also speaking on behalf of Waste Management were residents Tony Mattos,  Mary Frith, Ryan West of Waste Management, and Brian Harrison of Waste Management. Harrison is quoted as saying “I take my garbage personally. It would be a sad day if we lost our garbage contract to someone else over a few dollars.” As Brian Bassett stated, “I’d rather pay a few extra dollars a month for the quality of customer service and the CNG commitments Waste Management has made.”

Waste Management not only has impeccable customer service but has strong ties to the  community. Their route drivers are also residents of Biggs. They contribute countless volunteer hours, tote and dumpster collections at the 4th of July parade, homecoming events, high school events, and Little League events. They are here helping and disposing of Biggs  Community Clean Up in October every year free of charge. They donated $600,00  to BCAV and the tree replacement, Little League and football banners.

After the public expressed their opinions, the council expressed their opinions as well. Roger Frith said “Waste Management has a deep commitment to our community. It would be in the best interest to keep them here.” Mayor Angela Thompson stated, “If its not broke, don’t fix it”. Nate Wilkinson was also in agreement  with the other council members and was impressed with the footprint on air quality Waste Management has made. The Council voted unanimously to keep Waste Management but to let them revisit the costs.

Sal Niglio of Recology was in attendance along with Amy Jernigan.

In other matters of the Council meeting, the electric poles were painted and ready to install at the Little League parking area adjacent to the Biggs High school football field. Volunteers Perry Roles and Brian Harrison of Waste Management, Roger Frith, Bo Shepherd, Mary Frith, Ricki Donnahoe, Mark Sorenson, and the LDS Missionaries worked on the prep and paint of these recycled poles for about six hours on Saturday, June 10th. They are ready to install after the electric department does the trenching.

Mosquito abatement was staffed for the season on May 22, and are ready to attack these flying pests! There are 27 different kinds of mosquitos and they all bite!

The City approved the renewal and increase to 3 million dollar coverage of the Crime insurance program.

Council members voted to approve the ten year extension of the term of the Joint Powers Agreement establishing the Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG). The Joint Powers Agreement represents the cities of Biggs, Gridley, Chico, Oroville, the Town of Paradise and the County of Butte, originally established in 1969 with a primary role of serving as the Regional Transportation Planning Agency as designated by State statute and the Metropolitan Planning Organization as designated by Federal statute.