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Orleans County residents will have a new company picking up their solid waste and recyclable items next year.

County legislators Wednesday awarded a $1.87 million contract to NEI Waste Services of Blasdell. The firm underbid BFI, which provided services for the last seven years.

County officials told NEI leaders they have high expectations for service. "We want you to start and nobody to know the difference," said Marcia Tuohey, Legislature chairwoman. "We think you will do a great job."

NEI officials said solid waste service will remain the same as BFI, which removed garbage from the county on a five-days-a-week schedule. The six-bag limit for garbage items in the county also will remain unchanged once the NEI contract goes into effect Jan. 1.

Company officials said the firm plans to invest $1.3 million in new trash haulers. They noted that NEI provides services to municipalities such as the towns of Orchard Park and Evans in Erie County.

Legislators Wednesday praised BFI for the firm's service and asked NEI leaders if any employees could be retained from BFI.

NEI company leaders said such personnel moves were possible.

"We would like to hire some of them," said Terry Schweitzer of NEI. "We know them. We know the type of work they do."

Some legislators said they hoped that large items such as refrigerators could be picked up at specific times. NEI officials said they will be as cooperative with the public as possible without harming service.

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