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Newport OKs Outsourcing Trash Pick-Up

City officials say current trash haulers will not be laid off, but instead given the option to relocate to another city job, work for the new provider or retire.

Newport Beach Civic Center (Photo credit Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime)
Newport Beach Civic Center (Photo credit Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime)
The Newport Beach City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to outsource trash collection, but guaranteed the move would not result in layoffs.

City Council members Ed Selich, Tony Petros and Rush Hill dissented, while Mayor Keith Curry and council members Leslie Daigle, Nancy Gardner and Michael Henn voted in favor of bringing in a private trash hauler. The City Council's approval allows city staff to begin negotiations with top bidders CR&R, Ware and Rainbow Disposal.

Mark Harmon, the city's director of municipal operations, said outsourcing trash collection is needed for several reasons including limited staff which has resulted in hundreds of hours of overtime, high pension costs and an increase in workers-compensation claims. By switching to a private company, Newport Beach would save between $14 and $17 million over seven years, staff reports showed.

Officials said the move to outsource will not result in any of the city's 14 trash haulers being laid off. City Manager Dave Kiff said the trash collectors would be given the option to relocate to another city job, work for the new provider or retire.

"We've guaranteed every one of them a job. No trash collection workers will be laid off,"  Kiff said. "That's a compassionate way that Newport Beach treats its employees."

Despite the promise to avoid layoffs, many residents spoke in support of the men who pick up their trash on a daily basis.

“I've been extra happy with the collection services that we have from these folks," Dave Ryan, a Newport Beach resident, said."They would do anything for us and I often see them picking up trash lying on the street.”

“I don’t believe that Newport Beach doesn’t have enough money to pay for our own trash collection," resident Carolyn Fitz-Fibbon added. "You cannot outsource years of personal goodwill, amity and friendship.”

Kiff said outsourcing the city's trash collection will take at least 18 months to finalize.

Do you think the City Council made the right decision to outsource trash collection in Newport Beach? Tell us in the comments.

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